Santa’s helpers are being kept busy in the coming weeks with plenty of great Manitoulin Island events that are both new and traditional

James Chrysler creates hobby horses with a difference—there’s not a horse or pony to be found among them. The craft show stalwart also creates indoor-safe soccer balls. Mr. Chrysler can be found at a number of Island craft shows this season. photo by Michael Erskine

MANITOULIN – Bells will be jing-jangling and songs a-sing-dingling over the next few weeks as Manitoulin Island communities ramp up their Christmas spirit in anticipation of the arrival of Jolly Old St. Nick.

In Little Current, the Little Current United Church Breakfast with Santa takes place from 9 am to 10:30 am on this Saturday, December 7; with a $5 cost it is an economical start to the day’s shopping—and Santa and Mrs. Claus will have goodie bags to hand out. It’s a great opportunity to get a photo with the big guy himself, so bring your camera.

St. Bernard’s Roman Catholic Church will then hold its annual Snowflake Tea from 11 am to 1 pm. The popular cake walk will be making another appearance this year, where a toonie auction can bring home a Christmas-themed cake. Later in the evening, the annual Little Current Santa Claus parade will start out from the municipal parking lot behind the LCBO at 6 pm. Mr. and Mrs. Claus will be the guests of honour, with a bag full of goodies for the kiddies to keep them until the big day.

The Little Current Holy Trinity Anglican Church Christmas dinner will take place on Friday, December 6 at 6 pm. Dinner $20 per person. Limited seating, so call ahead to 705-368-3251 to book your place at the table.

The Island Singers Christmas concert will take place the following week at 3 pm on Saturday, December 14 at the Little Current United Church. Admission is $10 for an adult and $20 for a family.

On Christmas Day, the Little Current United Church Hall will have a community Christmas dinner for those who might be celebrating Christmas alone this year and might like some company to share the season’s cheer with. Dinner is free, but donations gratefully accepted.

In Mindemoya, Kids Shop Free will take place on Saturday, December 7, from 11 am to 1 pm and the following week the Island Singers Christmas concert will take place at 3 pm on Sunday, December 15 at the Mindemoya Missionary Church.

The Ojibwe Cultural Foundation has a whole week of great events lined up in M’Chigeeng with their 12 Days of Christmas crafts event. Events on the docket include: closed triangle earrings today, December 4, ceramics with David Migwans on December 5, birchbark/sweetgrass ornaments on December 6, peyote keyrings on December 9 and sew-on cabochon earrings on December 10. Events run daily from 10 am to 4 pm. For more information, call 705-377-4902.

The Manitoulin Secondary School concert will take place on Thursday, December 5 starting at 7 pm. Donations at the door will be gratefully accepted. This event features the Manitoulin Secondary School choir and local elementary musical groups.

In Gore Bay, Christmas at the Harbour Centre takes place on Saturday, December 7 from 10 am to 4 pm featuring that community’s famous high tea and plenty of vendors. There will be a tree lighting and parade on Saturday, December 7, starting at 7 pm with carols, coffee and hot chocolate provided by the Manitoulin Coffee Co.. The parade will follow starting at 7:30 pm.

Later in the month, Santa Skate will take place at the Gore Bay arena on Sunday, December 22 from 10 am to 12 noon with treat bags.

Stop by the Gordon/Barrie Island Christmas Advent Market on Saturday, December 7 from 10 am to 3 pm at the Gordon Hall, 29 Noble Side Road. Luncheon proceeds will be going to the Meldrum Bay Net Shed Museum.