Christmasfest 2014 kicks off with Nov. 13 tree lighting

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Sporting a new name, new events, and so many family activities it would take a website (christmasfest.ca) to list them all.

The festivities kick off Thursday, Nov. 13 with the Tillsonburg Christmas Family Tree lighting in front of the Tillsonburg (Oxford County) Library at 7 p.m. There's a twist to the Family Christmas Tree this year – organizers are selling 'snowflakes' for $1 to help decorate the tree. The white synthetic foam-style flakes will bear the family surname of the donor, and will be in full view during the day. Each night, the Christmas lights will be turned on, and the "big beautiful blue spruce" will look like a traditional holiday tree.

Proceeds from the $1 snowflake sales will go toward promoting Christmasfest... and hydro for lighting the tree.

"We were hoping it would survive the weather," said Patricia Phelps, culture and heritage manager/curator, noting the snowflake design.

Snowflakes will be sold on the November 6 and November 7 at the Tillsonburg Town Centre mall, and at Annandale National Historic Site museum.

The tree is one that was already scheduled for removal, Phelps noted.

"It was going to be cut down regardless," she said, and the Christmasfest committee felt it would make a suitable tree for the town's annual lighting.

"We'd like to thank Oxford County Library and Tillsonburg Hydro Inc for their assistance, and Advanced Automotive (Mike Dean) for transporting the tree for us.

"It's a community project – lighting and decorating the tree – and we'd like the whole community to celebrate with us on the 13th. We've requested Broadway be closed for the event so we can all celebrate on the street."

With good weather, said Suzanne Fleet, chair of Christmasfest and coordinator of Down Home Country Christmas, the lighting of the town Christmas tree is always well attended.

"Thursday is the kickoff to the festival," said Fleet, noting the BIA Christmas Crawl also kicks off at 7 p.m. People attending the tree lighting can continue down Broadway to see and sample various BIA businesses which will be open – and vibrant – Thursday night until 10 p.m. "Hopefully everyone will support the the BIA Christmas Crawl, too."

On Saturday, Nov. 15, the annual Tillsonburg Kiwanis Santa Claus parade starts at 2 p.m.

"The kids will be lining up on the streets to see Santa," said Phelps.

Events will continue pretty much every weekend until Christmas, said Fleet, directing people to the website www.christmasfest.ca and Facebook group for the full schedule.

"And a full listing in the paper," she noted. "Or call Suzanne at 842-3146 or Patricia (office hours) at the museum 842-2294."

New this year is a Christmasfest calendar featuring a variety of people around town including firefighters and police officers, and politicians (Chrissy Rosehart), and community service volunteers (Vivian Hahn). Each month features a holiday theme – with appropriate costumes in many cases.

The calendar, filled with memorable Tillsonburg landmarks, is available for $10 at Annandale House, Station Arts Centre, at the mall when they sell snowflakes, and at Corey's Restaurant.

"A very limited number, so get them quick," said Phelps.

"We hope everybody can can come to the Christmasfest events this year," said Phelps.

"For our 20th anniversary," Fleet noted.

 

2014 Tillsonburg Christmasfest Events

Thursday, November 13

● Lighting of the Tillsonburg Family Christmas tree 7 p.m.

● BIA Christmas Crawl 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Friday, November 14

● Tillsonburg Senior Centre Singers 20th. Christmas concert 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 15

● Tillsonburg Kiwanis Christmas parade 2 p.m.

Friday, November 28

● Christmas at Annandale National Historic Site Open House 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

● Annandale National Historic Site’s Annual Stuffed Stocking Penny Sale 7 p..m. - 9 p.m.

● Big Brothers Big Sisters Bid for Kids Sake Charity Auction & Battle of the Hors d’oeuvres 7 p.m. - 11 p.m.

● Lighting of the Community Service Club Christmas Tree Garden at Annandale National Historic Site 7:30 p.m.

● O Christmas Tree Exhibit Opening at Annandale National Historic Site 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 29

● Maple Manor Christmas Bazaar and Penny Sale 9 a.m. - noon

● Annandale National Historic Site’s Annual Stuffed Stocking Penny Sale 10 a..m. - 4 p.m.

● Senior Centre Crafters Christmas Craft Bazaar 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

● Reindeer Games - 1, 2, Tree at Annandale National Historic Site 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

● Christmas at Annandale National Historic Site Open House 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

● Down Home Country Christmas craft show - Glendale High School 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

● Station Arts Centre and Tillsonburg Kinettes annual Tour of Homes 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

● Station Arts Centre’s Tea Room 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

● St. Paul’s United church Down Home Country Christmas Turkey Dinner 4:45 p.m. and 6 p.m. **

● St. John’s Anglican church - Nativity Display & Alleluia Bell Choir concert 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

● Avondale United church Family Movie Night - “The Muppet Christmas Carol” 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 30

● Reindeer Games - 1, 2, Tree at Annandale National Historic Site 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

● Down Home Country Christmas craft show - Glendale High School 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

● Christmas at Annandale National Historic Site Open House 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

● Annandale National Historic Site’s Annual Stuffed Stocking Penny Sale 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

December

● Saturday, November 15 - Tuesday, December 15 - Reindeer Games Ugly Sweater Challenge

● Thursday, November 20 - Thursday, December 18 - Reindeer Games Seasons of Celebration 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.

● Friday, November 28 - Friday, December 19 -Monday to Friday - 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday 11a.m. - 4 p.m. Annandale National Historic Site’s Annual Stuffed Stocking Penny Sale

● Friday, November 28 - Sunday, January 4 - 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday 11a.m. - 4 p.m. - Christmas At Annandale National Historic Site

● Monday, November 31 - Friday, December 19 - 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. nightly - Christmasfest Light Decorating Contest

● Thursday, December 4 - 7 p.m. - North Broadway Baptist Church - Snowflake Sonata - An evening with the Oxford Winds Community Concert band - advance tickets required *

● Saturday, December 6 - time to be announced - Tillsonburg Town Centre mall - Dec The Gingerbread House Contest

● Thursday, December 11 - 7 p.m. - Frosty Frolic - First Baptist church - An Evening with Vogel Joy - advance tickets required *

● Sunday, December 14 - 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. - St. John’s Anglican church - An Evening with Dickens presented by Stephen Bourne

● Thursday, December 18 - 7 p.m. - St. Andrew’s Presbyterian church - Angelic Chords - An Evening with Celtic harpist Jennifer White - advance tickets required *

● Sunday, December 21 - 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Annandale National Historic Site - Ice Tea Party - come meet Elsa and Anna - advance tickets required *

● Sunday, December 21 - 3 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Light Decorating Contest: Announcement of Winners at Annandale National Historic Site Sponsored by: Metro, VanHoutte and Southern Ontario Printing For full details visit our website at www.christmasfest.ca, call Suzanne at 519-842-3146 or Annandale National Historic Site at 519-842-2294. Like us on Facebook and join our Christmasfest group on Facebook.

* advance tickets can be purchased at Annandale National Historic Site and Station Arts Centre.

** tickets can be purchased at Coward Pharmacy Ltd.; Station Arts Centre; Annandale. National Historic Site; St Paul's United Church Office 519-688-0011 or any Council Member of St. Paul's United Church.

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