Waterdown Village officially kicked off its holiday celebrations with the Winterdown Lights and Evening Market held on of Friday, Nov. 25.
The event ran from 6:30-9 p.m. and was held at Memorial Hall and Chestnut Grove – a first for the event as it is usually held at Memorial Park.
Residents came together for the first time since 2019 to mingle and support their community by exploring the various goods provided by business owners. Those in attendance were able to interact with local artisans and businesses inside of Memorial Hall or on the streets as they browsed the holiday gift items and stocking stuffers.
Visitors could also hang out with Santa Claus, enjoy the tree lighting with a free cup of hot cocoa or sing and dance at one of the musical stages.
Musical acts Trainwreck Two, Laurel and Hulley, and Paige Rutledge took their turns performing Christmas carols on the indoor stage before making their way outside to sing for the chilly crowd.
“I’m very grateful that I got to be here tonight,” Rutledge said. “This is my first Christmas tree lighting. Twenty-four years old and I’ve never been to a Christmas tree lighting before, so what a perfect way to experience it.”
Outside of Memorial Hall, Santa himself was present for the official tree lighting that took place at 8:00 p.m. The crowd cheered and clapped as the lights turned on, while many grabbed the opportunity for a photo before it got too crowded.
Ruby Tabares has always been a spectator of the event but this year she got to volunteer at the hot chocolate stand provided and run by The Fix.
“It was incredibly busy and we had a steady long line, but once the tree lighting happened it kind of mellowed down for us – but it’s been so nice to have everyone out again,” she said. “It reminds me of a Hallmark movie.”
The pandemic may have put life on hold for many communities, but as life returns to “normal” this event creates an opportunity for residents to reunite and spend time together in their own community.
Executive of the Waterdown Village Business Improvement Area (BIA), Susan Pennie, spoke about the benefits of holding an event like this in the village.
“I think there’s a lot of great spirit amongst the people who live here, the visitors who come here and the businesses who put an event like this on,” she said. “It’s a great way to celebrate together and to bring people down into our downtown core and to show them some of the things that we have to offer. We want to build that walkability within our community and to just have everybody be a part of it, so I think it’s just a great way to celebrate the spirit and the camaraderie between everybody.”
The event wasn’t just for spreading cheer and buying presents, chairs could be seen along the streets of Waterdown as many attendees took the chance to place their chairs out for the Santa Claus parade taking place the next day on Saturday, Nov. 26.
If you missed this event, this was only the first of a series of events taking place leading up to the holidays. To learn more about coming events, visit: https://waterdownvillage.ca/event-calendar/