Tree lighting on Queen Street Sunday
A walk, or drive, along Queen Street Friday would have shown the downtown sidewalks busier than usual at this time of year.
Despite a chill in the air, the sun was shining and the mood was festive as local volunteers joined in decorating the town for Christmas.
The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake partnered with the Chamber of Commerce, which in past years has taken on the decorating, to organize a community-wide winter initiative called Celebrate the Season, a local winter event intended to encourage community engagement and inspire creativity, with residents and business owners out on the street decorating.
Lord Mayor Betty Disero says the idea came to her when Debi Pratt mentioned volunteers used to decorate the street decades ago.
Celebrate the Season includes all the holiday events, beginning with the Candlelight Stroll, and including January events, such as the Icewine Festival.
The Christmas Committee, a sub-committee of Communities in Bloom, is comprised of residents and representatives from the Town and the Chamber of Commerce, has been meeting for months to plan the event. Members of the NOTL Horticultural Society and the St. Davids Lions Clubs were also involved.
In keeping with Niagara-on-the-Lake’s history, the theme of the decorations and the celebration is a Victorian Christmas, featuring natural boughs and garlands, burgundy ribbon and soft white lights.
Residents have been making and contributing decorations themselves prior to Friday, and many were out on the day of decorating, putting boughs together with bows, and helping to decorate.
The Communities in Bloom committee also will be awarding prizes to the best-decorated homes in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The contest will consider daytime and nighttime decorations and will take place between Nov. 15, 2019, and December 15, 2019, and winners will be announced in local papers. Nominations can be made after Nov.15, on the Town’s Join the Conversation website.
A community tree-lighting ceremony will cap off the decorating spree, Sunday, Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. by the Court House, and will signal the launch of Celebrate the Season events.
Travis Cairns of Desjardins Insurance, the Niagara-on-the-Lake Horticultural Society, the St. Davids Lions Club and Brenda McArthur were major sponsors of the decorating event.