Christmas Village packs them in
PETAWAWA – It was Christmas in the Village, and everyone was invited to celebrate the season in the old fashioned way.
On Sunday, the Petawawa Heritage Village held its third annual Christmas-themed event, and were overwhelmed by the crowds who turned out in droves to experience a taste of the holiday season in the 19th Century.
Sharon Rideough, a volunteer with the Petawawa Village Historical Society was kept busy ladling out hot chocolate heated on a wood burning stove at the Leder Haus. She said last year around 400 took part in the event. This year, by 5 p.m. more than 600 had come through, and the village was set to remain open for another few hours.
“I guess the word has gotten out,” she said. “The word of mouth is spreading, and people are coming by to visit.”
Bob Hackett, another volunteer, said the line ups to see Santa began an hour or so before the big man was due to arrive. He said he hasn't seen so many visitors come out in a long while.
Despite the unexpected volumes of people, Rideough said the village volunteers were able to handle it.
“Everything is flowing smoothly,” she said, and pointed out many have been very generous with their donations to the living museum.
The entire village was decorated with lights, and as darkness fell, the paths between buildings were marked with burning logs, stood vertical and set ablaze. The community church hall that once stood in Black Bay and donated by the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception Pembroke was open and used for choir performances by the St George's Chapel Children’s Choir and the St. John's Lutheran Church Pembroke Choir, as well as Christmas in the Valley, a history in story and song with Gillan Rutz.
Santa did make an appearance, spending several hours meeting children of all ages at the stable, while arts and crafts and treats and hot chocolate were the order of the day just about everywhere in the village.
This is the last event of the year for the Petawawa Heritage Village, which will reopen in May 2018.