SHERBROOKE – Lights, hot chocolate, action—and a whole lot more are in store for visitors who gather for the Sherbrooke Village Old Fashioned Christmas this year. The annual celebration of rural Nova Scotia Christmas traditions will be held for two weekends; November 24 to 26 and December 2 and 3. Activities will include caroling, festive dining, craft workshops, craft market, house tours, concerts, and ecumenical service. And, as always, Christmas is a magical time for children, and the Village will host a variety of children’s crafts, activities, entertainments and visits from Santa.
Speaking of lights, this year there will be a spectacular lighting display with over 50,000 lights adding to the festival ambience. Illumination will be from November 24 to January 6, 5 to 10 p.m.
The Village’s Old Fashioned Christmas, which began in 1996, has become a much anticipated event in the Nova Scotian Christmas calendar. The event has grown from an expected 1,000 participants over a three-weekend schedule to over 11,500 in two weekends. Committee Chair Person, Heather Laybolt said, “This is a very emotional and exciting year for Sherbrooke Village Old Fashioned Christmas with lots of changes and all of those for the better.”
Growth brings with it new challenges, including the safety of the community and all of those in attendance. In past years participants paraded down the main street, blocking the only access road in Sherbrooke, from the tree lighting to the festival location. This year the official tree lighting has been relocated to the St. James Presbyterian Church lawn. The candlelight procession will leave from there and move on to the performance centre, all within Sherbrooke Village gates.
In recent years, a physical fitness component has been added to the festivities and the now annual Jingle Run/Walk will warm people up for the Christmas season.
Exciting new events this year include: visits to “Whoville”; the Ultimate Santa Race and Guided Lantern Tours of the Village. This year will also see the much-anticipated Victorian Tea moving back to its former location at the Sherbrooke Village Tea Room. There will also be a closing parade and dance.
The Sherbrooke Village Old Fashioned Christmas Association (SVOFCA) is a not for profit, volunteer group, who work diligently to offer an off-season, illuminated Christmas Festival. There are 12 board members but in all over 100 volunteers performing thousands of volunteer hours in preparation and presentation of the festival. The members are committed to host as many free family and children’s activities as possible during the annual celebration of rural Nova Scotia Christmas traditions.
For a printable schedule visit the Sherbrooke Village website, or for more information visit the facebook page or call toll-free at 1-888-743-7845.