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Christmas spirit coming to the Peninsula
The spirit of the holiday season returns to the White Rock and South Surrey community this Saturday (Nov. 24) as Christmas on the Peninsula enters its fourth year with another day-long festival of family friendly events.
From First United Church’s popular Breakfast in Bethlehem – from 8:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. – to late afternoon and early evening events such as a mini Christmas Parade led by a Christmas band and donkey (4 p.m.), the Salvation Army Jubilee Brass (from 4:15 p.m.), the Christmas Tree Lighting at Miramar Village Plaza with Mayor Wayne Baldwin and the Kent Street Choristers (4:30 p.m.) and the Carols By Candlelight sing-a-long at St. John’s Presbyterian Church with the White Rock Children’s Choir (5:15 to 6:15 p.m.) it’s a full schedule of fun activities and entertainment aimed at recreating the atmosphere of the traditional start of Christmas festivities in European villages.
It’s an atmosphere well-known to Christmas on the Peninsula founder and chair Liv Butow, who grew up in the village of Moss, south of Oslo in Norway.
She remembers that there the official launch of Christmas – at the end of November or beginning of December – was a chance for people to walk around town, meet with neighbours, admire the ingenuity of household and business decorations, enjoy seasonal goodies and ultimately gather in the village square for the lighting of the tree.
And she says that walking around the uptown White Rock area – where businesses, churches and community organizations have planned a multitude of events – is the key to fully experiencing the appeal of Christmas on the Peninsula.
“I like the community feeling of walking place to place, meeting people and perhaps having some hot apple cider or something,” she said.
“While we have the events at the White Rock Community Centre, of course, there are so may different things happening throughout the uptown area that we don’t have the space for them,” she said.
In addition to the Breakfast in Bethlehem – featuring a pancake breakfast, with a petting zoo and a pageant with costumed performers helping to recreate the sights and sounds of the days of the Nativity – there are an abundance of other events throughout the day along the Johnston Road corridor from Five Corners to Miramar Village designed to bring on a Christmas frame of mind.
At WorldServe Thrift Store (1401 Johnston Rd.) there will be a display of Christmas trees from around the world (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), while during the same hours, The Living Room Store (1233 Johnston Rd.) will offer a collection of Nativity scenes, and Star of the Sea Centre (15262 Pacific Ave.) will provide a Christmas Cafe and Charity Fair.
Small Ritual Coffee House (1237 Johnston Rd.) will host a craft workshop for fingerprint cards and gift tags (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) followed by an afternoon concert of Christmas jazz (1-4 p.m.), while from noon to 4 p.m., strolling carolers will sing up and down Johnston Road and at Miramar Village plaza.
Fellowship Baptist Church (15138 Prospect Ave.) will show the cartoon classics A Charlie Brown Christmas (noon and 2 p.m.) and How The Grinch Stole Christmas (12:45 and 2:45 p.m.).
This writer will provide his usual storytelling and readings at Laura’s Coffee On The Corner (15208 Pacific Ave. at Five Corners, 1-3 p.m.) while in the 1 to 4 p.m. time frame there will also be an open house hosted by the White Rock Players Club with tours, tea and snacks at Coast Capital Playhouse (1532 Johnston Rd.), and a mini-gingerbread house decorating workshop at White Rock Community Church (15280 Pacific Ave.).
From 2 to 4 p.m. there will be an open house with sweets and talks (Staying Healthy over Christmas, Wellness Wishes for 2013) at White Rock Wellness Centre (101 – 1493 Johnston Rd).
Also well worth checking out is the White Rock Community Centre Christmas Market and concession, running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This will include live entertainment on the mainstage (until 4:15 p.m.), indoor craft activities (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and the Christmas 4 Kids story, song and game program (1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.).
Food vendors will also be outside the community centre at Miramar Plaza from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., while there will be a holly-by-donation event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., a fish pond and a kettle drive from noon to 4 p.m. and roasted chestnuts and hot apple cider will be available from 1 to 4 p.m.