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Christmas in the Village arrives in Wellington

Natalee, age five-and-a-half, and three-and-a-half year old Camrynn, from Wellington, met Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Town Hall.

Story and photos by Sharon Harrison
A cool frosty morning transformed into a mild and sunny Saturday just in time for Wellington’s Santa Claus parade.

Put together by the Wellington and District Business Association, the Who-themed parade made its way along Main Street, beginning at Belleville Road before concluding its route at Consecon Street.

Parade participants, led by Royal Canadian Legion branch members, included the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Search and Rescue and Rotary International.

Mayor Steve Ferguson and Wellington councillor Mike Harper made their inaugural appearance having started duties officially that morning joining regular participants, the Wellington Dukes and Prince Edward County Kings, the Wellington Lions Dragon Boat Club, the Belleville and District Shrine Club.

The Wellington on the Lake Theatre Group portrayed ‘A Dickens of a Christmas’. A number of fire trucks from the Prince Edward County Fire Department came along for the ride, together with a few Who characters and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Events began early in Wellington with the United Church opening its doors at 9 a.m. much to the delight of County cookie lovers. The much-enjoyed Cookie Walk involves picking up a box, filling it with an assortment of cookies of your choice from the dozens of different kinds on offer, all beautifully laid out on a long table. Church volunteers then tie the box with ribbon, where it’s unlikely it will make it home unopened. This popular event usually sees the large cookie selection disappear within a couple of hours.

Some people got their holiday shopping completed early with a good selection of items at Santa’s Crafters’ Sale also held at the United Church. On offer was a dazzling array of knitted items, lavender products, jewellery, gourmet food and lots of irresistible edible treats.

“The Rec. Committee wanted to put together a family-oriented day of events,” said Corey Engelsdorfer, Chair of the Wellington Recreation Committee. “We also felt that with Christmas inching closer, having a family event to attend that is entirely free is a big plus.”

“One of our members had the great idea of free horse-drawn wagon rides,” he added, noting the County Carriage Co. was busy giving attendees historic tours of the village for the better part of the day.

Benny and Jenny, along with their humans, Wade and Lisa Terpstra of The County Carriage Company, provided scenic tours around the village, with the added comfort of cozy blankets to keep away the chill. During the tour, Lisa shared stories about the village and its history.

One of Prince Edward County’s earliest residents, Daniel Reynolds, first came to the area in the 18th century and settled in Wellington where his house remains today along Main Street. Tales tell of Reynolds being nicknamed Old Smoke by local First Nations and the first white settlement was known as Smokeville.

Wade continued on with the history lesson taking a glimpse into what Wellington may have looked like in 1844 speaking of merchants’ stores, blacksmiths shops,  carriage makers, a tin smith, foundry, tailors, the local butcher and doctor, plus taverns and a brewery.

Visitors to the Wellington branch library enjoyed children’s stories and treats in the morning and nearby St. Andrew’s Anglican Church had a tea and bake sale.

Four-year-old Scarlett Mihalicz, visiting from Toronto, concentrates on her craft.

 

Another one of the Recreation Committee’s big draws this year was ‘A Kid’s Christmas’ held in the Town Hall throughout the morning and into the afternoon. The free event included crafts for children to make and take home. Live musical entertainment was also a feature.

The littlest children visiting the Town Hall were also able to get a few minutes with the big jolly elf himself. Santa and Mrs. Claus patiently enjoyed hearing children’s wishes, as photographs were captured to preserve the moments.

“The town hall was filled with children making ornaments—and drinking hot chocolate—with smiles on their faces the whole time,” said Engelsdorfer.

Members of the Wellington District Lions Club served complimentary hot dogs and hot chocolate. As well, they were selling 2019 Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guide puppy calendars, with three designs each featuring a future dog guide puppy. The new fundraising idea for this year will see 50 per cent of sales going to Lions activities locally, which is fed back into the community, and 50 per cent going to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides.

Amelia Engelsdorfer, 4, takes a break from the ice at the free public skate

Free public skating was held at the Wellington Community Centre for a couple of hours during the afternoon. Several members of the Wellington Dukes hockey team joined the public skate.

The day concluded with a bonfire at Midtown Brewing Company at dusk, and a holiday market at the Drake Devonshire which continued into the early evening.

“One of the highlights for me was seeing the children’s, and some adults, eyes light-up when Santa and Mrs. Claus walked through the door,” said Engelsdorfer.

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