By Cecilia Nasmith
Christmas Magic season is about to kick off in Cobourg, bringing six weeks of holiday brightness every member of the community can enjoy.
An epic night of events kicks it off at Victoria Hall Nov. 23, starting at 6 p.m. with the big lighting-up ceremony.
The Town of Cobourg press release said preparations are well underway for it all, complete with a vintage-holiday theme.
“Each year, Christmas Magic in Cobourg continues to surprise audiences with creative displays and striking uses of colour, drawing in a growing number of locals and tourists alike,” the release said.
“This year's light display theme will take on a vintage-Christmas vibe, and will also showcase a beautifully decorated Victoria Hall with a wrapped portico, lamppost banners, and new projection-animated snowflakes cascading along the building.”
The 6 p.m. gathering at Victoria Hall (55 King St. W.) will enjoy Christmas music and an official welcome before the holiday lights go on at that location. Everyone is encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the Northumberland Fare Share food bank to turn in to the Cobourg Police Service representative in exchange for a lighted candle.
At 6:45 p.m., the official walk will proceed down Second Street, past the Rotary Harbourfront Park rink and to the waterfront. There, at 7 p.m., Mayor Gil Brocanier will lead the countdown for the main lighting.
The centre of the Esplanade will include one 44-ft. Christmas tree that will glow with more than 3,000 lights to create a glittering landmark in the evening darkness. The tree was generously donated by Nancy Oliver and her husband Stewart Richardson of Cobourg.
The countdown will also lead to the illumination of 190,000 lights along the waterfront, Division Street south and Rotary Harbourfront Park. DJ Dominic will blast out some festive music and a special surprise is in store for all. As well, Santa Claus will put in a guest appearance on Second Street, with special treats to give out.
After years in Victoria Park, this new location offers a display that is both walkable and driveable, the press release noted. Those who walk among the displays will enjoy the spiral trees, holiday cut-outs for selfies, holiday vignettes, as well as reindeer and other festive animals.
A new addition celebrates the true spirit of the holiday season with Trees For Charity. This town initiative offers charitable organizations the chance to decorate an eight-ft. Christmas tree of their own, with the town supplying the tree. Any organization interested should contact community-events coordinator Jackie Chapman-Davis (email@example.com) by Nov. 12.
“All they have to do is bring the decorations,” council community-services coordinator Suzanne Seguin said in the press release.
“What a beautiful display it will be, and a chance to raise even more awareness to the issues that matter most.”
Habitat For Humanity Northumberland is bringing back its Gingerbread Festival starting at 5 p.m. on King Street West, with gingerbread cookie kits for children who are attending the tree lighting (baked by the Dutch Oven and sponsored by the Town of Cobourg).
Inside the Sarby's store (across the street from Victoria Hall), the Downtown Business Improvement Area will feature a night market with some wonderful vendors, and the winner of the Home For The Holidays local shop contest will be announced. In the street, local hockey players will enjoy some old-fashioned road hockey to a background of festive music.
“The success of Christmas Magic is largely attributed to the thousands of hours contributed by volunteers, town staff, councillors ad local high-school students,” the press release said.
“The Cobourg Police also supply a large number of volunteers for the opening ceremony.”
Organizers also thank generous sponsors, including Cameco, Lakefront Utilities Inc, Iron Wood Tree and Landscape, Wharram Tree Service Ltd.
The spectacular Christmas Magic display can be enjoyed free each night from 6 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 7.