it's beginning to look a lot like...Christmas!
Excitement builds in anticipation of Santa's first appearance in Bayfield for 2017. This image was taken at the Lighting of the Lights Ceremony in Clan Gregor Square in 2016. To learn more about the fun events planned for the Christmas kickoff weekend, Nov. 17-19, check the list below, maybe read it twice - Santa is sure to. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)
There is a general buzz in the air as the Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) Christmas in Bayfield Committee makes the final preparations for their annual festive weekend, Nov. 17-19. Now just two sleeps away, the lights are strung in the trees in Clan Gregor Square and along Main Street. Wreaths are being placed on doors and windows creating an inviting ambience for people to begin their holiday shopping and share in some village traditions.
The annual Lighting of the Lights will take place in Clan Gregor Square at 7 p.m. There will be carol singing and a visit from a very special guest in a red suit.
The stores on Main Street will be open on Friday evening until the crowds fade away as well as from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Here are a few of the events planned for this holiday kickoff weekend in the village:
VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS: Members of the Bayfield Historical Society (BHS) are looking forward to helping shoppers wrap up their holiday parcels over the Christmas in Bayfield Weekend, Nov. 17-19. The BHS are holding a Victorian Christmas Gift Wrapping and Ornament Sale over the three days selling Bayfield Landmark and Victorian Ornaments. They will also provide gift wrapping services in “winter woodland’ and “tinsel town” themes. The services will be offered on Friday, 2-7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All proceeds from the weekend will go to the maintenance of the BHS collection.
HOLLY BERRY BAZAAR: St. Andrew’s United Church Women (UCW) will host their annual “Christmas Holly Berry Bazaar and Market over the Christmas in Bayfield Weekend, this year it is scheduled for Nov. 17-18. The sale will be held at St. Andrew’s United Church on Friday from 4- 8 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The market will feature crafts, quilts and a food booth serving lunch.
SANTA CLAUS PARADE: The Bayfield Santa Claus Parade will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. Organizers are now looking for parade participants. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to register.
COOKIES AT THE LIBRARY: The holiday season is just around the corner and one event that youngsters will not want to miss is the annual Gingerbread Cookie Decorating at the Bayfield Public Library. Following the Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, Nov. 18, families are invited to join the Friends of the Bayfield Library (FOBL) to decorate their own gingerbread cookie. This deliciously sweet event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
CHILI LUNCHEON: Come and warm up after the Christmas in Bayfield Parade on Nov 18 with a bowl of Chili at the Knox Presbyterian Church in Bayfield’s Annual Chili Luncheon. Enjoy Traditional Beef, Vegetarian or Turkey Chili with toasted garlic bread, Christmas Squares and choice of beverage served from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $8 for adults and $4 for children.
PET PICTURES WITH SANTA: Dianne Brandon Photography will be set up in the gazebo in Clan Gregor Square for an hour starting at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday to capture images of furry friends with the jolly old elf. Donatons accepted to the Lions Foundation of Canada.
CHRISTMAS CHEER: A special addition to the Christmas in Bayfield weekend of events will include some Christmas Cheer in the parlor at the The Little Inn of Bayfield on Nov. 18. Sponsored by Robert Q Travel, of Grand Bend, the event will run from 2-4 p.m. There will be a draw for two $100 dinner certificates from The Little Inn, a $75 board from Board and Basket; a $250 travel voucher from Robert Q, Grand Bend; as well as a special surprise.
Ag Society Wreaths, AGM and new Construction
Christmas is sliding ever closer as the days get shorter and the chill in the air becomes frigid.
The Bayfield Agricultural Society (BAS) has created and sold Christmas wreaths for some time as an annual fundraiser. All the greens are local, the wreaths are made locally at the Baker-Lehnen property, and all the volunteer workers are local. This year the Society will sell them on Nov. 17-18 but decided it would take orders since some do not want them until December. Anyone who would like a wreath made to their specifications and time of delivery should phone Don Brodie at 519 236-2404 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Swags or tails also can be made to the size requested also. Do think of the BAS when preparing for Christmas decorating and purchase a local wreath or tail.
A highlight for the BAS is the Annual General Meeting (AGM). This will be held in the basement of St. Andrew’s United Church on Nov. 24. Food is always a major focus of the organization so the evening begins with a potluck dinner with people arriving at 5:30 p.m. with the meal beginning at 6 p.m. There is always lots of food with the main course for many being the desserts. Special awards will be presented at 7:15-9 p.m. for members with years of service as well as two very distinctive Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies’ Awards – one achievement and one meritorious.
David Pullen, County Forest Conservation officer, will speak at 7:30 p.m. tying together forestry, fishing, and farming which is the theme for 2018. Pullen is well known for his presentations and he is looking forward to speaking in Bayfield and sharing his views on his passion – the preservation of forestry land. The AGM will begin at 8 p.m. to summarize what the current year achieved and put the people in place for organizing the goals for 2018. Everyone is welcome to any portion of the evening to learn a little about the organization and what its mandate is.
The BAS is taking on a major building project in the coming months. The pet display building is now past its prime and needs some major renovations and the decision has been made to replace it entirely. There is also a need to store paper, ribbon, and boxed supplies in one location. A plan is to build a 30 x 50 foot structure solely for storage and then for use as a pet display building during the fair.
According to Doug Yeo, representing the BAS, forest fires in British Columbia and hurricanes in Florida have escalated the price of the building materials to nearly $100,000.
“Supporters of the BAS and its work are asked to contact us at email@example.com and we can begin a conversation about how you can help us achieve our goals. This is one time when we really do need our supporters. It has been a long time since a building was contemplated,” said Yeo.
Town Hall will echo with sounds of Suess on Saturday
“Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot, But the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville did NOT.”
Join The Glee Sisters, together with the Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society (BTHHS), in exploring the Dr. Suess tale, “The Grinch who Stole Christmas” in Story and Song for the entire family.
This village holiday tradition will be held on Nov. 18 at the Bayfield Town Hall and due to popular demand there will be two shows, the first at 1:30 p.m. followed by another at 3 p.m.
The town hall stage will become Whoville, with a huge colorful banner made by Helen Varekamp. The Glee Sisters become Whos dressed in their Christmas sweaters and with homemade Christmas fascinators in their hair. Roberta Stemp will be transformed into The Grinch, accompanied by the dog "Max", otherwise known to all as Woosie from Louisa Street.
At this special musical event the Optimist Club of Bayfield will be providing a small, rather noisy gift for the first 75 children at each show. After the story and song, attendees are invited to stay for cookies and hot chocolate served courtesy of the BTHHS.
Admission to the performances is a cash or non-perishable food donation to the Bayfield Food Bank (Feed My Sheep).
And just in case you miss the show on Nov. 18 The Glee Sisters will be performing it again on Nov. 25 in the upstairs auditorium at the MacKay Centre for Seniors in Goderich starting at 2 p.m.
The Bayfield Optimist Club once again supported the Bayfield Food Bank (Feed My Sheep) in anticipation of The Glee Sisters fundraiser happening on Nov. 18. Optimist Treasurer John Pounder presented the local food bank coordinator, Terry Boa-Youmatoff, with a cheque for $300, recently. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)
Trail hike proves christmas is for the birds and squirrels too
Sunday, Nov. 19 is the date set for the annual Christmas in Bayfield Weekend walk along the Sawmill Trail.
Starting at 1 p.m. people are invited to bring their children and grandchildren to allow them an opportunity to learn an appreciation for the nature trails, followed by an outdoor craft. These creations will be used to decorate a live Christmas tree and feed the birds and squirrels at the same time. This event is always fun for the whole family! Those who attend are asked to bring some canned food for the Bayfield Food Bank (Feed My Sheep).
The Sawmill Trail is 2 KMs long. It has a difficulty of Level 2 although there is one large hill. The hike will take approx. two hours. Turn east on Old River Road, proceed a half a KM and turn right at Sawmill Road; parking available.
The hike leaders will be Pat Baker 519 565-4015, Dave Gillians 519 565-5884 and Jack Pal 519 565-5340
SALVATION ARMY BAND RETURNS
The London Citadel Salvation Army Band is coming to town! On Friday, Nov. 24, they will provide a “Magical Evening of Christmas Music” at the Bayfield Town Hall. For over 20 years this wonderful group has provided Bayfield with an opportunity to come together as a community while getting into the holiday mood. Anyone who has not yet heard them is in for a treat. Come and enjoy fabulous musicians filling the hall with a big brass sound. Tickets are $15 and are available from Patricia Baker at 519 955-1456 or Sandy Scotchmer at 519 565-2830. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and the concert will begin at 8 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be rescheduled for Dec. 1. (Photo by Jack Pal)
Life at the Rink
People are never too old to lace up their skates and take to the ice for “Canada’s Game” and members of the community are invited to come out and watch as the Bayfield Relics have home ice advantage against the Seaforth Legions tonight (Nov. 15) at 8:30 p.m.
The Bayfield Relics are an Oldtimers Hockey Team that was founded in 1987. Their home ice is the Bayfield Arena. The Relics play their season schedule versus teams from Huron and Middlesex Counties.
On Nov. 18, as part of Christmas in Bayfield, the Third Annual 50+ Hockey Tournament is being held at the Bayfield Arena. This tournament includes players from as far away as Windsor, London and Kincardine.
“While the economic impact is uncalculated, it is well known these visiting players often return to Bayfield with their families throughout the year,” said Ron Keys, chair of the Bayfield Arena Community Partners Association (BACPA).
The monthly Councilor’s Corner held in the Bayfield Community Centre is set for tomorrow (Nov. 16).
Bill Whetstone, Bayfield Ward councilor, hosts the evening on the third Thursday of every month. He provides an opportunity for people to hear what council has been up to and voice their opinions. The evening will begin at 7 p.m.
The Main Topics of discussion this month will be Tim Hortons and a brief update on the Next Thursday Bayfield Facility Feasibility Study.
Small Business Centre
Tomorrow (Nov. 16), the Small Business Centre will host a Business Networking Evening and Pitch Contest at The Ashwood Bourbon Bar in Bayfield.
The event that will run from 6-9 p.m. will feature a fireside chat with Sabrina Geremia, of Google Canada.
Attendees will be given the opportunity to network with the community, hear from Geremia, and vote on their favorite business pitch from social entrepreneurs in the community, all while enjoying free appetizers and door prizes. The Small Business Centre welcomes door prize donations from local businesses. Business owners will have the opportunity to talk about their business when presenting the prize.
The Better Business Networking Event tickets are $25 and should be purchased in advance on Eventbrite or at the Small Business Centre. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 519 524-8394 Ext. 3304.
Rev. Peter Bush, moderator of the 143rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, will be preaching at Knox Presbyterian Church in Bayfield on Sunday, Nov. 19 at the 11 a.m. service.
Rev. Bush was a former summer student at Knox Bayfield in 1988 and served as their Interim Moderator for seven-and-a-half years. He is presently minister at Westwood Presbyterian Church in Winnipeg.
This past June, the Presbyterian Church of Canada named him as the Moderator of the 143rd General Assembly, the highest court in the Presbyterian Church of Canada.
The members of the congregation are pleased and honored that Bush accepted their invitation to return to Bayfield during his busy schedule as Moderator.
A new book, Bayfield Cottages & Homes 1830s – 1920s, has been published by the Bayfield Historical Society (BHS). The project manager for the book, Ralph Laviolette and the researcher writer, Dianne Smith, will be talking about their work at our next community meeting on Monday, Nov. 27.
This presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Bayfield Lions Community Building.
There have been many visitors to the Bayfield Archives who were curious about the history of their owned or rented homes or cottages. Some visitors had property search records while others had only verbal recollections of their properties history. So prompted by this interest and with a generous grant from an anonymous donor in 2013 the multi-year project began. The book will be available at this presentation as well as in the Heritage Centre starting the Christmas in Bayfield weekend. The book is selling for $20.
West Coast Astronomers
The West Coast Astronomers will hold their last Star Party for this year is at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Agricultural Park in Bayfield, sky conditions permitting and everyone is welcome to join in the viewing with or without a telescope. If you are an amateur astronomer, please bring your telescope at sundown.
As well as observing planets and deep sky objects this Thursday, the astronomers will be watching for the Leonid Meteor Shower. The Leonids peak is expected from midnight to dawn on Friday and Saturday mornings (Nov. 17-18).
The first Star Party for 2018 is scheduled for Thursday, March 15.
Visit www.westcoastastronomers.info for more details, locations and times. Each party is limited in the number of participants we can accommodate. Please use the 'Register Now' button on the 'Star Party' page to reserve a spot. If the sky is not clear on the designated night, the event will be cancelled. If you have doubt on the status of the event please call 519 868-6691.
Letters to Santa
Bayfield residents will be pleased to know that Santa Claus will once again be receiving mail in his special mailbox at Bayfield Foodland.
Santa’s elves delight in hearing from area youngsters and learning what is on their wish lists every year. Be sure to include a return address so that the children can be sure of a note in return from the jolly old elf himself.
“The Canoe” a beautiful, framed, limited-edition print, by famous Canadian artist Tom Thomson, is being offered for purchase as a fundraiser for the Bayfield River Valley Trails Association (BRVTA).
Adam Bergeron, of Art East, donated the print to the BRVTA, who will be selling it through a Silent Auction. The Bayfield Library has offered to host this event, by displaying the print from now until Nov. 18. Bid sheets are available at the library and can be deposited into an enclosed box during this period. Two members of the BRVTA will open the box on Monday, Nov 20 and the highest bidder will become the new owner of this beautiful print. If the highest bid is a tie, a draw will be made to determine the winner.
The print measures 33” x 38” and will make a beautiful statement in someone’s home or make a wonderful Christmas gift.
CHRISTMAS BUREAU DROPOFFS
The Huron County Christmas Bureau drop-off locations in Bayfield have been established for this year.
New toys and clothing can be deposited into boxes at Bayfield Convenience, Bayfield Public Library, Pharmasave Michael’s Pharmacy or through Trinity Anglican Church, Knox Presbyterian Church or St. Andrew’s United Church.
COFFEE & CONVERSATION
The Friends of the Bayfield Library (FOBL) would like to invite all in the community to join them in some inclusive, neutral conversation over a cup of a hot brew.
“Coffee & Conversation” will be held at the Bayfield Public Library every Wednesday until March from 2-3:30 p.m.
This is a great opportunity for people to meet their neighbors, learn about the village and share their know how with others.
Blessings Community Store is a thrift store as well as a food bank on Main Street in Zurich. Their donation box in Bayfield can be found in the Nip N’ Tuck lot (just north of the building). Residents are encouraged to drop in the box clean, gently used clothing and household goods they no longer need or want. The sale of these items in the thrift store help to support the food bank as well as help others. Please call 519 236-4376 with questions.
LEARNING TO REMEMBER
Various classes at Huron Centennial School in Brucefield participated in a Remembrance Day service at the school on Nov. 10. (Submitted photo)