Christ­mas re­turns to the Chil­dren’s An­i­mal Farm

The Observer (Sarnia) - - NEWS - PAUL MORDEN pmor­[email protected]­media.com

Christ­mas on the Farm – a Sar­nia tra­di­tion for 44 years – re­turns Fri­day and Satur­day to the Chil­dren’s An­i­mal Farm in Canatara Park.

A small army of vol­un­teers is set to of­fer free hol­i­day-themed events from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fri­day and again 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Satur­day at the an­i­mal farm.

“I think it’s one of my favourite events,” said Rachel Veilleux with the city’s parks and recre­ation depart­ment. “We try to keep it au­then­tic and gen­uine to the tra­di­tional hol­i­day sea­son.”

There will be horse and wagon rides, cookie dec­o­rat­ing, ice-carv­ing demon­stra­tions, or­na­ment and craft mak­ing, car­olling, chest­nuts roast­ing on an open fire, rides on the Canatara Choo Choo and more.

Veilleux said they typ­i­cally have ap­prox­i­mately 50 pounds of chest­nuts ready for roast­ing dur­ing the event.

“It’s one of those truly tra­di­tional things that some peo­ple love, and some peo­ple have never tried.”

Hot­dogs, pop­corn, hot cho­co­late and ap­ple cider will be sold dur­ing the event by the Se­away Ki­wa­nis Club.

Sev­eral other or­ga­ni­za­tions also get in­volved along with the city staff, in­clud­ing the Sar­nia Sea Cadets, 23rd Sar­nia Scouts, the North­ern Key Club, and Snowfest Ice Carv­ing and Cre­ations.

“We’ve got some great com­mu­nity groups help­ing to make the day hap­pen,” Veilleux said. “This year, we’re ex­cited be­cause we’ve sort of en­hanced the at­mos­phere with more light­ing and dis­plays.”

Lights are be­ing strung in the trees around the farm and the event has part­nered with Com­mu­ni­ties in Bloom and St. Pa­trick’s Catholic High School to cre­ate arch­ways for the paths.

There are also ar­eas set up for fam­i­lies to take hol­i­day-themed pho­tos, Veilleux said.

De­pend­ing on the weather, ap­prox­i­mately 5,000 peo­ple typ­i­cally at­tend, she said.

“Fri­day night tends to be the busiest, be­cause of the lights.”

En­joy­ing Christ­mas on the Farm has be­come a tra­di­tion for many lo­cal res­i­dents.

“We get par­ents, and even grand­par­ents who come out and say they came when they were younger,” Veilleux said.

FILES

Wayne McCormick of Beaver Mead­ows guides a horse-drawn car­riage at the 2016 Christ­mas on the Farm at the Chil­dren's An­i­mal Farm in Canatara Park. The event re­turns to the park Fri­day evening and Satur­day.

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