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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Christmas trees bring light to Niagara-on-the-Lake
Celayna Martin, left, and Sean Sentineal stand in front of Sentineal Carriages sponsored Christmas tree. Somer Slobodian
Cheryl Munce, realtor with Engel and Volkers stands by the tree her company decorated for christmas. Somer Slobodian
From left, Madison Gawel, Amber Theriault and Raghav Luthra infront from 124 on Queen Hotel and Spa with their Christmas tree. Somer Slobodian
John Paraskevopoulos, owner and operator of Gyros on the Lake outside with his tree. Somer Slobodian
Sandra Iafrate shows off her tree decorated with recovered antique teacups. Somer Slobodian

Outdoor Christmas trees in downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake are lit, illuminating NOTL with the glow of a friendly holiday decorating contest.

Queen Street is awash in a wintry wonderland as 11 businesses have helped decorate Christmas trees for the competition.

In the spirit of competition, we looked at what inspired each entry and how the people who decorated them brought them to life.

The Chamber of Commerce and Tourism NOTL organized the contest and wrapped its tree with large, flowing royal blue ribbons along with small silver and blue ornaments.

Office co-ordinator Kim Fletcher said she and the rest of the chamber team came up with a design that is meant to “kickstart the Celebrate in Wine Country campaign in Niagara-on-the-Lake.”

Warm hues with red and golden ribbons are featured in Gyros on the Lake’s tree. Red shimmery and matte round ornaments add an extra touch.

A tree by Solmar Development Corp. has a sparkling blue and red theme to bring the medium-sized conifer to life.

“We wanted the tree to be bright, cheerful and full of holiday spirit,” said Lindsey Thompson, the marketing manager for Two Sisters Vineyards.

Its gold and red ornaments reflect the personal touches of several team members, she said.

“We hope to spread a little bit of joy with this tree. It is so special to be a part of Niagara-on-the-Lake and we are happy to add a little bit of sparkle to the downtown during this beautiful time of year,” Thompson said.

More gold is brought to the scene within Canada Post’s entry, which includes miniature passports printed with gold writing among gold ribbons.

A unique tree was created by artist Sandra Iafrate of Gate Street Studio. If you look closely, numerous pieces of art are sprinkled amid the pink-themed décor.

The pieces include ornaments filled with paint, miniature paintings and an artist’s palette with a paintbrush tied to it resting on the top of the tree.

With just 24 hours to complete its tree before the deadline, Sentineal Carriages opted for a red colour scheme, with red and black plaid ribbons.

The crowning touch is a black top hat.

“Megan, Sean and Celina jumped into action,” said Laura Sentineal.

“Everyone had great ideas. We busted out the glitter and glue guns and got to work.”

They were really happy with how the tree turned out and she said inspiration for the design came from the way they decorate the company’s horse-drawn carriages.

A musical theme brings light to the streets of NOTL with the Niagara Jazz Festival’s tree. Tiny records and green and gold ornaments line the tree.

Fittingly, the Irish Harp Pub’s entry “has an Irish/Christmas theme, the green shamrock bows and the Harp for the Irish feel, embellished with Christmas décor,” said owner Jovie Joki.

With a decorated tree and pub, Joki said “We have already received so much positive feedback about how festive and warm the pub is.”

Purple, blue and gold attract the eye to the NOTL Bed & Breakfast Association’s tree. Look closely and you’ll see the purple ribbons are embroidered with shimmering gold designs.

In designing Royal Oak Community School’s tree, assistant head Laureen Dennis said “because we are a community school and we take pride in being a part of this wonderful community, we felt it was imperative that we as a school put together a tree that reflects who we are.”

With a sparkly blue ribbon topping the tree, Dennis said their theme revolved around a winter school day of fun.

In keeping with the winter spirit, “our students have done some wonderful writing pieces about what they like to do in the winter at school and they have made them into paper Christmas balls that we have hung on the tree,” Dennis said.

Not only did the students help decorate the tree, but parents also participated as everything was donated for the tree, said Dennis.

The Royal Oak tree was a team effort and enabled the school to recognition work it does in the community.

“Along with our other initiatives like the Newark Neighbours food drive, the NOTL Christmas Parade participation and a partnership with Pets Alive Niagara to raise money and donate supplies to their wonderful organization, the students of Royal Oak School really try to help out the wider community.”

Winners of the competition will be selected by a judging panel in mid-December and the People’s Choice winners will be announced during the Niagara Icewine Festival in January.

To cast a People’s Choice vote for one of Queen Street’s decorated trees, drop by the Chamber of Commerce office downtown in the old Court House.

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