‘Tis the season, almost – and the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is gearing up for the festive time with a number of planned winter activities and celebrations.
This year NOTL will have an authentic Victorian Christmas village theme, and residents and businesses are encouraged to participate..
A committee comprised of residents and representatives from the town, NOTL Chamber of Commerce and Tourism NOTL has been meeting since the spring to come up with ideas on how to “celebrate the season,” the town and the chamber said in a statement.
Residents are encouraged to use natural boughs or green garlands, burgundy ribbons and soft white lights when decorating their homes to tie in with the season’s theme. Businesses are invited to place garlands, ribbons and battery-operated candles at the front store windows.
Wineries are also asked to install garlands and ribbons on their front signage to “help connect our rural areas to our settlement areas,” according to the media release.
There will also be a contest from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15 for the best-dressed homes run by the town’s Communities in Bloom committee. Nominations can be submitted through the Join The Conversation page after Nov. 15.
In previous years, festive decor was spearheaded by the chamber but the organization wanted to “have a broader participation” this year, said president Eduardo Lafforgue.
“The most important thing for this year’s decoration is we’re putting a lot of emphasis on the human scale. Instead of putting the lights on top of the buildings, which is very nice when you look from abroad, but it’s very important when people walk the street, they can see the light,” Lafforgue told The Lake Report.
Decoration Day will be Nov. 15. In preparation for the season, the town will put up snowflakes and traditional decorations.
Simcoe Park and the gazebo at Queen’s Royal Park will also be decorated.
The Christmas Tree will be put up near the cenotaph on Queen Street. The official lighting of the tree will be on Sunday, Nov. 24.
The festive season in NOTL will also kick off with the classic plays “A Christmas Carol “and “Holiday Inn” presented by the Shaw Festival, starting Nov. 13.
The chamber’s fine dining event, Fabulicious, will return to participating NOTL restaurants on Nov. 18 and will run until Nov. 24.
The Candlelight Stroll will take place on Dec. 6, and the Rotary Holiday House Tour is Dec. 6 and 7.
Santa Claus returns to town when the much-anticipated NOTL Christmas Parade hits the streets at 11 a.m. on Dec. 14.
Parks Canada and the Friends of Fort George will hold the annual Fort George Garrison Christmas on Dec. 14-15. Buildings inside the fort will be decorated with traditional greenery and there will be hot beverages and historic treats offered in the Officers’ Kitchen.
Ice skating will also be available at Fort George during the winter.
The Ice Wine Festival will run on Jan. 17-19, and on Jan. 24-26. The Days of Wine and Chocolate will also return to NOTL wineries on weekends in February.