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Gananoque Christmas events deemed a success

By: Keith Dempsey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

It’s been roughly a month of holiday celebrations in the waterfront community of Gananoque.

The town, along with community partners, have been presenting activities and events all month long as part of the 2022 Gananoque Festival of Lights – the second edition of this festival.

While festival activities will soon come to an end, Candy Cane Lane at Town Hall Park, along with the rest of the beautiful lights and decorations set up at the park to make it feel and look like a Christmas movie set, will remain lit until the end of the month.

“It went really well,” said Amanda Trafford, the town’s economic development and cultural heritage co-ordinator. “The community’s response to Candy Cane Lane has been incredible, better than what we could have hoped for.”

There was the Downtown Gananoque BIA Holiday Shopping Event, Town Hall Park being lit up with the official tree lighting and opening of Candy Cane Lane. The bandshell and Town Hall also feature some decorations. There was live music, cookies, hot chocolate and apple cider to be had.

The 1000 Islands Gananoque Chamber of Commerce hosted the Gananoque Santa Claus Parade, featuring festive floats from community groups and businesses. Santa Claus had a float all to himself and waved and spread holiday joy to elated children braving the cold that night to catch a glimpse of him.

There were also special feature performances, Makers Studios, an art show and other festive activities at the Thousand Islands Playhouse, including the “How Sweet It Is” Christmas Concert, which was sold out.

“That’s wonderful to hear,” said Trafford. “People were calling trying to get tickets but couldn’t, which is unfortunate, but it’s nice to hear that event went off well.”

The Rotary Club of Gananoque and Gananoque Lions Club have hosted Santa Days in Town Hall Park the last two weeks, with treats and activities for the little ones to enjoy while visiting with Santa.

“They both had about 90 kids come through, which is great for an outdoor event in the winter,” said Trafford. “Poor Rotary had some rain and snow to deal with, but they were still well attended.”

As well, the Royal Theatre provided carolling along King Street.

The festival technically comes to a close at the end of the month, however, the only remaining activity was the Gananoque Skating Club performing a free show at Lou Jeffries Gananoque and Township of Leeds and Thousand Islands Recreation Centre on Wednesday.

There’s also an outdoor public skate with music to be held at Gord Brown Memorial Canada 150 Outdoor Rink.

The Town will be announcing at the end of this week the winners of its Winter Lights competition.

(Keith Dempsey is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)

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