City core gear­ing up for fes­tive sea­son

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - NEWS - INTELLIGENCER STAFF

Down­town Belleville has rea­son to cel­e­brate this hol­i­day sea­son.

With the fi­nal phase of the re­vi­tal­iza­tion in the rear- view mir­ror and many up­grades to the over­all look and feel of the down­town area, many lo­cals and visi­tors are ex­pected to make the down­town a hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion ex­pe­ri­ence for shop­ping, din­ing and en­ter­tain­ment.

The new streetscape in­cludes brick cour­tesy cross­walks, gen­er­ous rest­ing ar­eas, bike lock sta­tions and new vin­tage style lamp posts with bright LED light­ing. To add to this, as part of the ‘ Christ­mas in the Vil­lage – Where Magic Hap­pens’ Christ­mas cam­paign, lighted rein­deer, 100 new 48” LED snowflakes mounted on lamp posts ( re­plac­ing the 20- year old pre­vi­ous dec­o­ra­tions), dec­o­rated store win­dows and 100 live out­door Christ­mas trees will help to cre­ate a mag­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence for visi­tors. Many stores will be open un­til 8 p. m. on Thurs­days and many of those busi­nesses will be of­fer­ing spe­cial in­cen­tives to visi­tors.

“Christ­mas can be over­whelm­ing for a lot of peo­ple, so we wanted to cre­ate a mag­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence that is more about how you feel than a list of to- dos. Friendly shop keep­ers, cozy restau­rants and cafes to warm up in and a small- town com­mu­nity at­mos­phere is what we of­fer. It’s dif­fer­ent than any other shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence in the area and we want ev­ery­one to ex­pe­ri­ence it,” stated Hazel Lloyst, gen­eral man­ager at the Down­town Belleville Im­prove­ment Area.

The kick­off event for ‘ Christ­mas in the Vil­lage – Where Magic Hap­pens’ will take place on Thurs­day, Nov. 15 from 5: 30 p. m. to 7: 30 p. m. Fes­tiv­i­ties for the evening in­clude a tree light­ing cer­e­mony out­side of Cen­tury Vil­lage where a 30- foot blue spruce Christ­mas tree ( sal­vaged from a lo­cal build­ing project) will be erected, free horse­drawn trol­ley rides around down­town loop, a win­dow and tree dec­o­rat­ing con­test, live rein­deer for the young and young at heart, fes­tive hot drinks and menu items avail­able at many of the down­town restau­rants and cafes and pro­mo­tions at par­tic­i­pat­ing re­tail stores.

A Cap­pella Quinte, a men’s bar­ber­shop cho­rus serv­ing the Quinte re­gion, will be start­ing off the evening. The group of close to 20 men sing a va­ri­ety of mu­sic from clas­sic bar­ber­shop tunes to con­tem­po­rary songs, all in four- part har­mony with­out any in­stru­men­tal ac­com­pa­ni­ment. On this mag­i­cal evening they will be fo­cus­ing on Christ­mas tunes.

Free park­ing is avail­able in the down­town area evening and week­ends. Feed the Me­ter Cam­paign - help­ing to of­fer warm meals to stu­dents in need in our com­mu­nity — will be run­ning again this year in Belleville, Tren­ton and Prince Ed­ward County — all mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties do­nate the funds col­lected in park­ing me­ters dur­ing the month of De­cem­ber to the pro­gram. And the BDIA of­fice at 267 Front St. will be ac­cept­ing food do­na­tions for Glean­ers Food Bank from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Christ­mas in the Vil­lage event will take place in Belleville’s down­town on Nov. 15. The event will in­clude a Christ­mas tree light­ing cer­e­mony, live mu­sic and horse- drawn car­riage rides.

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