Fireworks under a drizzly sky in Bunnell’s People
S t. Thomas got ready to really wring in the new year this year on one of the wettest days of December.
But Monday’s rain didn’t dampen spirits – much – on New Year’s Eve at Pinafore Park.
In spite of the weather, about 100 people gathered for the sizzle and fizz of fireworks at a family friendly 8 p.m. start of the New Year right, as the song goes.
“I never would have thought rain would be an issue on New Year’s Eve!” e-smiles Sara Teare, crediting event producers K&H Distributing Fireworks for setting up in the soggy and making sure the show didn’t float away.
The display was part of Light up the Night, which is the 5,000ish lights strung in November through Pinafore and which remain switched on nightly at 5 p.m. thru this weekend. It’s the fourth year for the lights and fireworks, which Sara organizes to brighten our town‘s dark December evenings. (Although the days now are getting longer. I’m sure of it).
Fireworks last year attracted about 200 spectators. This year, spectators were harder to count.
“The crowd was smaller but I’d say there was at least 100 people - a lot more folks this year came and stayed in their cars, so it’s harder to get a proper head count,” Sara says.
“There were lots of people out with umbrellas though, and I was fortunate to have a very enthusiastic little girl sitting near me - her reactions to them all were great!!”
♦♦♦ Even though she’s our town’s unofficial Ms. New Year’s, Sara’s not a resolutions kinda person.
Because, she reasons, why wait to Dec. 31?
“As for resolutions, I don’t really have any - I’m more of a ‘If you want to change something, change it. Don’t wait for New Years, next month, or Monday, just do it!’ kind of a person.”
♦♦♦ Meanwhile, Dennis Taylor and Raymie Jewell unplugged the lights after New Year’s Eve at the house in Port Stanley – the house that lights up the night on Selbourne Drive with an annual holiday display of *thousands* of lights, synchronized to music.
Spectators are invited to make a donation to Make-A-Wish Foundation of SW Ont. as well as Port Stanley Food Bank, and Raymie says they were generous.
Though wet weather and soggy ground forced the couple to close off their back yard to visitors for a number of nights, Dennis and Raymie say donations will cover a young boy’s wish. They still are counting.
And food for the food bank included even a Christmas turkey. Indeed, what rain!?! “People really seemed to embrace the joy, wearing elf costumes and Santa suits, crazy Christmas hats and lit necklaces.”
And one couple even embraced each other. He popped the question Dec. 22 in the back yard. “She said YES!”
(Wouldn’t you know it but Raymie was upstairs and missed the moment when they slipped in after he Facebooked for permission. Nevertheless, the couple added to the evening’s radiance: “I saw them coming down the hill with big smiles and lots of people congratulating them).”
Christmas shopping this year for the couple included more lights for next year. There were 83,000 in 2018.
“Dennis was out shopping before Christmas’” Raymie reports. And when friends found out he was working Boxing Day, they stepped in.
“He got a text at 6 a.m. ‘Where are you? Why aren’t you shopping?’
“When our Crazy for Christmas Lights, Eh! friends found out he was working, they picked up some things he was eyeing before the holidays ... ”
♦ ♦ ♦ There were people out walking. Some with the dog. They were jogging. Riding bicycles.
One homeowner was raking leaves off the lawn. I don’t know if that was a late finish to last year’s garden, or an early start on this year.
After a wet New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day 2019 was gloomy but, certainly, anything but glum around StT and E.
And the parking lot at Mackie’s was jammed at lunchtime.
Though beach weather is a few months off, the Port Stanley landmark is open weekends yearround. As well as NY Day 2019.
Indeed, just one exception in the past year. They Facebooked that they turned the fryers off the weekend before Christmas “... to allow everyone one weekend off a year ... ”
♦ ♦ ♦ Beach weather! The Two-Four is just 133 days away Friday. Better pack those New Year’s resolutions in the duffel and get thee to the gym.
♦ ♦ ♦ Here’s some reading in the Globe’s best-of list of 2018 movies:
“The past year was filled with rich performances from the industry’s leading actresses . . . but can anyone fairly say they matched the comic timing of Rachel McAdams,” quote critic Barry Hertz in his year-end Top 10 list, which awards No. 1 spot to Game Night featuring the St Traised star.
Did 2018 just pass me by? Looking over the list, I realize I didn’t see any of the year’s Top 10 (actually, 11 because of a tie). But a quick click – gotta love the Internet at least some of the time -- and St. Thomas Public Library has two Game Night DVDs in its collection. Both were out on loan as of this writing but one was due back Thursday.
Meanwhile, Elgin library’s copy was on the shelf at Port Burwell.
And here’s the plot summary from the county catalogue:
“Max and Annie’s weekly couples game night is kicked up a notch when Max’s charismatic brother, Brooks, arranges a murder mystery party, complete with fake thugs and faux federal agents. As the six uber-competitive gamers set out to solve the case and win, they begin to discover that neither this game nor Brooks are what they seem to be.”
There you have it! Murder and mayhem. Sounds just the things to warm up a cold winter’s evening. Even though the days are getting longer … I am certain of it!
There were 83,000 Christmas lights to light up the night in Port Stanley at the home of Dennis Taylor and Raymie Jewell, where spectators donated to Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southwestern Ontario and the Port Stanley Food Bank, and one couple became engaged.