🎅 Santa Claus coming to town

Santa had a great view of the hundreds of people who came out to the parade, and was no doubt making notes for his big lists.

MANITOULIN – It’s official, Santa Claus himself will be making a pre-Christmas visit to Manitoulin this Saturday, December 5 to help get Islanders into the Christmas spirit.

In Central Manitoulin, businesses will be hosting a special Christmas Saturday shopping event from 9 am to 5 pm (although individual business hours may vary). Shoppers can expect in-store deals, door prizes and raffles, giveaways and so much more. Remember that when we ‘prosper together, shop Manitoulin,’ everyone benefits!

From 10 am to 3 pm, Mindemoya Missionary Church is accepting donations for a toy and children’s winter clothing drive. The church is seeking toys plus new and gently used toques, mitts and socks for kids of all ages, which will then be given to Manitoulin Family Resources for distribution. Contact organizer Dale Scott at 705-377-4818 for more information.

Manitoulin Meat Boss is sponsoring a free public skate at the Providence Bay War Memorial Arena from 11 am to 12 pm and Buie’s General Store is also making this kind gesture from 1 to 2 pm. Ten spots are available for each time and reservations are required. Please call 705-377-4090 and state the time slot you are seeking and the date, the number of skaters and a contact number.

The Central Manitoulin Lions Club is having a bake sale from 1 to 3 pm in the Mindemoya Community Centre’s upstairs hall. Donations will support the good works of the Lions Club.

Also from 1 to 3 pm at the Mindemoya Community Centre, a Christmas market featuring the works of local artisans and crafters will be held.

Hey kids! It’s your chance to meet Santa himself! Santa will be at the Lions Club gazebo at the Old School Park from 3 to 5 pm. Physically-distanced chairs will be set up at the gazebo for kids to have a safe chance to sell Santa everything on their list this year.

There is yet more public skating on Saturday afternoon, this time at the Mindemoya from 3:30 to 5 pm, sponsored by Wilson’s Corner Store, from 6 to 7:30 pm, sponsored by the municipality, and again from 7:45 to 9 pm, sponsored by Kat’s Pet Supply. Ten spots are available for each of the three time spots and reservations are again required by calling 705-377-6640 and leaving a message.

The Mindemoya Christmas parade will start at 6:30 pm and will start at the Manitoulin Inn, travelling south on Highway 551, west on Douglas Street then back east on Highway 542 to the municipal complex. 

Following the parade, at 7:30 pm, the community Christmas tree lighting will take place once again at Island Home Outfitters, complete with Christmas caroling. Bring a family ornament or find a past ornament on the ornament table and help decorate the tree.

Santa will also be making an appearance in Gore Bay this Saturday, December 5 at 7:30 pm. To abide by COVID-19 precautions, the municipality is asking that spectators spread out along the entire parade route and that no candy be thrown from floats.

The parade leaves CC McLean at 7:30 pm, heads north on Meredith Street, west on Dawson Street, south on Phipps Street, west on Eleanor Street, south on Laird Street, east on Main Street, north on Water Street, west on Dawson Street, south on Meredith Street and back to CC McLean.

For more information please contact Pam at the Town Office, 705-282-2420 ext. 4.

There will be a mini Christmas Fair at 20563 Hwy 540, Silver Water on Saturday, December 5 from 9 am to noon. The fundraising efforts in December will go to the Manitoulin Family Resources food bank. There will be boxes at the Christmas Fair on December 5 for donations of non-perishable food items. 

In Little Current, the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands  is hosting its annual Santa Claus parade on Saturday, December 5 beginning at 6 pm. The parade route is much different than previous years to allow for physical distancing. Also new this year is that all floats must be contained (no walkers) and candy will not be given out this year.

The parade gets underway at 6 pm from the Northeast Town recreation centre, heading north on Highway 6, taking a left onto Wilson Street, a right onto Worthington Street (Highway 540), followed by a left onto Meredith Street, a right onto Red Mill Road, through the Manor parking lot and back onto Robinson Street and downtown, taking a right on Manitowaning Road and back to the rec centre. To register a float, please contact Lisa Hallaert by email at  lhallaert@townofnemi.on.ca.

Saturday, December 5 is also the last day for businesses to register for the decorating contest in the Northeast Town. Call 705-368-3500 to enter your business for a chance at bragging rights!

Billings is offering a Christmas workshop on Saturday, December 5 from 11 am to 2 pm at the Kagawong Park Centre where participants will have the chance to create a four-foot tall Christmas welcome sign. The cost is $60 per participant. Email Councillor Sharon Alkenbrack at alkens@manitoulin.net to reserve your spot. 

Also on Saturday, children will have yet another opportunity to meet Santa, outside at the Kagawong Park Centre parking lot from 5 to 6:30 pm. Goodie bags will be available!

On Monday, December 7, the Township of Assiginack has organized a very special chat session with Santa, live from the North Pole! To book your time with Santa (he will be available from 6 to 9 pm), visit assiginack.ca and click ‘online bookings.’

The municipalities would like to remind everyone taking part in these events that COVID-19 rules will apply and that masks are mandatory to help ensure that everyone has a safe and healthy holiday season.