KENTVILLE, NS - Christmas is right around the corner and the Valley is full of many events to help get you into the holiday spirit.
The first event is the Kentville Torch-Light Parade happening on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m.
“We do call it a parade,” says Gillian Yorke from Kentville’s recreation department. “But if we’re being technical, it’s more like a community walk with glow sticks.”
Everyone is welcome to gather around the recreation centre, says Yorke, and the parade leaves at 6:15 p.m., wrapping its way around the centre block ending in Centre Square for the official count down and lighting. Although some people opt to watch from the sidewalk, more and more people join in for the walk around the streets.
New this year, the Primary students at KCA will be creating their own Christmas decorations at school.
“We will be collecting the ornaments and inviting families to come and find their beautiful creations at the recreation centre during the evening of the 17th so we can decorate our newly planted blue spruce tree out front,” says Yorke.
It’s a great way to welcome those new-to-school families into the community, she says.
Following the parade and lighting ceremony, everyone is welcome to come for a free skate at the arena from 7-8 p.m.
The following night, on Nov. 18, is the annual New Minas Rotary Parade of Lights. The parade runs along Commercial Street, beginning at Crescent Drive and ending at the RBC entrance of County Fair Mall.
“Fireworks will take place once Santa Claus enters the mall, shooting off from the ‘fairgrounds’ (the vacant lot that hosts the fair every Apple Blossom weekend),” says John Ansara, director of recreation and community development for New Minas.
The parade generally takes about 45 minutes to an hour and culminates with the fireworks display and children meeting Santa Claus in County Fair Mall, says Ansara.
Sobeys will hand out refreshments to the children as they wait in line for Santa.
Then, on the weekend of Nov. 24 to 26, Berwick will host its annual Santa Claus Celebration, starting on Friday with a tree lighting ceremony at the town hall from 6-7:30 p.m. The Band Swig will be playing Christmas music and there will be hot apple cider and activities for the children.
The parade lines up at Grand View Manor, leaving at 6:30 p.m. and proceeding north on Commercial Street to town hall.
“It's free but folks are welcome to bring a foodbank donation,” says Berwick recreation coordinator, Carol Boylan-Hartling, who has been helping with the event for the past 18 years.
Other events over the weekend include a Christmas luncheon, chilli supper, free skating, cupcake decorating, hay and wagon rides, and much more.
“I love Christmas and it's a great way to kick off the season,” says Boylan-Hartling.