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Oct. 23, 2021 | Saturday
Editorials and Opinions
Editorial: Spreading festive cheer

Not even a global pandemic could hijack Santa's plan to put in an appearance in Niagara-on-the-Lake this year.

The annual Christmas parade will be a drive-by featuring just the jolly old gent.

This year there won't be the bands and twirlers and clowns and floats and local organizations that we're used to seeing march through the streets.

But, as Santa rolls through Old Town and all of NOTL's other communities this weekend, let's give credit to the town and the parade volunteers who came up with an apt alternative that reaches all corners of town and gives the man in red a chance to spread some festive cheer.

As retired parade stalwart Bob Cheriton says in our special Christmas feature about him, this town has an amazing pool of talented volunteers who step up  whenever their community needs them.

Let's celebrate each and every one of them.

There is always a lot happening in our little corner of the world. No shortage of good news, positive community activities and people helping others.

So some kudos to:

* The Niagara Lions for selling out of Christmas trees three weeks before Christmas. And to everyone who supported the Lions.

* The St. Davids Lionesses for collection food and cash for Project Share.

St. Davids-Queenston United Church, which filled six SUVs and a van with donations for the Town of NOTL's Give Back charity drive (another brilliant idea). And St. Davids residents Judith Atwood, Adriana Vizzari and Ronalda Clifton, who canvassed their neighbourhood and collected bags and bags of donations.

Residents of The Village for their award-winning holiday lighting display, a visible welcome to all as you enter Old Town.

People all over NOTL for seemingly going above and beyond this year with some amazing lighting displays that are sure to lift people's spirits.

* The NOTL Legion and all its supporters who made the annual poppy campaign a much bigger success than expected, despite COVID and no street sales.

* The NOTL Rotary Club for coming up with a new twist on fundraising in the COVID era, a holiday bottle drive

* The O’Neill and Houghton Family for a very generous $10,000 donation to the Niagara Nursery School's expansion drive. And to all the other donors who are supporting this much-needed facility.

* NOTL Hydro, the Chamber of Commerce and all those who have actively supported Newark Neighbours, seasonal farm workers and other organizations this holiday season.

* The town's director of operations, Sheldon Randall, for  stepping up as acting chief administrator for the past year, one marked by the mayhem of a global pandemic and challenges no one could have foreseen.

Niagara Regional Transit, for bringing its on-demand $3 per ride "bus" service to Niagara-on-the-Lake. From all accounts thus far, and our own road test of the service, this might be the future of public transit in small towns.

* And thanks to you, our readers, who make so many of these great community achievements possible, and continue to support The Lake Report in our quest to bring the quality journalism and relevant news to NOTL.