Christmasfest popular


Santa & Mrs. Claus arrived in Port Dover for Christmasfest

SANTA and Mrs. Claus attracted crowds wherever they went on Saturday, Nov. 17 in Port Dover as the town celebrated Christmasfest.

As is the tradition, Santa Claus and his entourage arrived at the pier at 1:00 p.m. on board a tug — this year the ‘Loganville’ — and were escorted to the dock by the crew of Canada Coast Guard’s Cape Lambton. At dockside they were greeted by an enthusiastic crowd to set the tone on a high note for the remainder of the afternoon and evening program.

Parade Marshal Ev Deming purposely left the large contingent of the Paris Port Dover Pipe Band to be directly in front of the Santa Claus horse-drawn carriage to create an exciting finish of the impressive community parade. A team of horses from Scott Sowden’s Evergreen Hill Farm pulled the carriage.

Just as the pipers marched off Parade Marshall Deming boarded the carriage to ride with Santa and Mrs. Claus. This year was her 22nd consecutive year as a participant in the parade.
It took over 30 minutes for the parade to pass along its two km route from the harbour to finish at Lighthouse Festival Theatre. There was the hometown mix of local businesses, fire trucks, service organizations’ floats including Port Dover Lions Club’s two vehicles with the Cameo Jazz Band, sporting clubs, Scouts and Guides, and costumed walkers of every sort, including Town Crier John Wells.

The large crowd on sidewalks along the parade route cheered Santa and waved to passing floats, all in the hometown spirit of the season.

Parade judges awarded 1st Port Dover Scouts with the ‘Best Christmas Theme Float’ award. Best Commercial Float was Dairy Queen. Best Non-Commercial float was Lynn Valley Lions Club. Best Float with children on board was presented to Frenchie’s. Best Individual Costume was Norfolk Roots Midwives.

Zachary Abell won the Best Children’s Costume (6 to 16 years). Best School Participation group was Port Dover Steelheads. Best Children’s Youth Group was Port Dover Girl Guides.
In the Best Decorated Business Contest the winners were; 1st — Port Dover Jewellery and Gifts (Debbie O’Dwyer); 2nd — Dee and Gord Massey’s Peggy’s Cove; 3rd prize — Jenny Ball-Lowry’s Dover Cheese Shop.

Following the parade though the downtown, Santa and Mrs. Claus attended a meet-and-greet for children and their parents in the lounge at Lighthouse Festival Theatre.
There were many people along the streets and merchants said that the daytime and Moonlight Madness shopping was at their expected level. Temperatures hovered just above the freezing mark.

Following the parade there was Christmas crafts and scavenger hunt for children at Port Dover Harbour Museum.

Port Dover’s popular eateries catered to Christmasfest patrons throughout the day and evening.

A highlight of the evening beginning at 7:00 was the Community Bonfire on the beach at Walker Street. The roaring fire attracted a record number of people to join in singing a number of favourite Christmas songs and carols, led by John Wells. There was complimentary hot chocolate available from the Beach House restaurant.

While people’s singing voices filled the crisp night air the spectacular fireworks over the lake added to the enjoyment.

Following that event, people went to the shops in town to enjoy the merchants’ Moonlight Madness shopping event until about 10 p.m.

During the day Port Dover churches and organizations held special events; Knox Presbyterian Church held a bazaar and bake sale in the morning, St. Paul’s Church held a bazaar in the afternoon and Port Dover Lioness Club’s Arts & Crafts Affair was held at Port Dover Community Centre.



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