TEMISKAMING SHORES (Staff) – Christmas 2017 is just a little over a month away.
But shoppers and holiday celebrants can turn the clock back a couple of centuries this week when they tour Village Noël Témiskaming.
Downtown New Liskeard will take on the trappings of New France for the fourth annual edition of the Village Noël.
“We think we have a good line-up for this year,” said organizing committee chair Réjeanne Belisle Massie.
“We’re trying to keep it a fun, family event that can be affordable for everyone.”
They’ve added more wooden kiosks, bringing to 31 the number of outdoor sales locations for vendors of unique items from both sides of Lake Temiskaming.
Those kiosks open at 6 p.m. November 23 on streets dotted by decorative fire pits.
That’ll be followed by opening ceremonies in the downtown cenotaph park at 6:30 p.m. and the illumination of the downtown at 7 p.m.
It’ll include the launch of a new activity guide to winter activities in the region. It’s an initiative of Building Ties Temiskaming, which is promoting the Lake Temiskaming region in both Quebec and Ontario.
A DOZEN SCHOOLS
On November 24, more than 1,700 kids from a dozen schools are scheduled to tour the downtown village. They’ll take part in three dozen activities, from crafting birdhouses and Christmas ornaments, to curling, drumming, and learning about the life of the voyageurs.
Science Timmins will be at the New Liskeard Community Hall (November 24 and the morning of November 25) with displays, activities and a planetarium.
Also new this year will be log-sawing competitions. The finals begin at 1 p.m. November 25.
There will be no outdoor entertainment stage this year.
Instead, the space once reserved for the stage – a small parking lot on Armstrong Street – will be the new site of the popular axe-throwing contest.
Entertainment will be offered at the community hall on November 24, with a line-up of “100 per cent natural, local” talent, said Belisle Massie.
Admission to the evening show at the New Liskeard Community Hall is a donation for food banks serving New Liskeard, Haileybury and the Cobalt area.
Visitors can also take in more than two dozen vendors at Riverside Farmers’ Market Christmas market. It opens at noon November 24 and continues until 3 p.m. November 25.
New this year is a Métis trapper’s tent, located behind the Horne Granite Centre across from Riverside Place.
Sleigh rides will be available November 25, courtesy of the New Liskeard Business Improvement Area organization.
Celebrations will pause on November 25. At 2 p.m., there will be a minute’s silence to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Village Noël wraps up with the annual parade of lights through the downtown, beginning at 6 p.m.
Santa Claus has been contacted, and has happily assured he will also be participating in the event that draws spectators from across the district.
“The parade gets better every year,” said Lions Club president Dave Bromley.
Behind the scenes preparations are underway, and floats will be gathering at their usual location near Timiskaming District Secondary School.
Parade participants start assembling by 5 p.m., Bromley said.
A complete schedule can be found in this issue of The Speaker.