by Robyn Eagle, President, M-W & District Chamber of Commerce
Christmas in Merrickville is the traditional kickoff to the holiday season in Merrickville-Wolford, scheduled the first Saturday of December. This year, due to COVID, the events and activities were once again scaled back to ensure that everyone maintained safe distancing.
Much thanks goes out to the many volunteers who worked tirelessly to decorate the Village Core in a Victorian style characterized by greenery and lights with gold and red balls and bows. The Village Core was also enhanced by those businesses which participated in the decorating contest which Nellie’s Room won for Most Victorian, and Chaiya Decor for Most Festive.
The Silent Auction is another tradition that Heather Dallaire and her team organizes to raise funds for local charities. Many thanks to the businesses who donated items for the auction which brought in $2,600! The local charities that will benefit are: The Merrickville Food Bank, Interval House, Beth Donovan Hospice, and A Chance Animal Rescue.
The Caleigh Girls, a group of local women, coordinated a Photo Shoot to raise funds to help the Rideau Bridge to Canada (RBC) sponsor an Afghan refugee family start a new life in Merrickville. Funds raised by the Photo Shoot and sale of cookies raised over $6,000. This will be the third family for which the RBC has raised funds to sponsor, which requires $50,000 to achieve. Anyone wishing to help the Rideau Bridge with a cash donation can contact them at www.merrickville-bridge.ca.
Our local Lions Club also added to the festivities by providing free hot apple cider. Thanks to Rob Balsillie from Vinyl Destination for providing the hot chocolate. CTV News was also on hand to capture the sights, interview a few people, and chat about the Shop Local Initiative which includes a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree. For more information on the Shop Local Initiative, check out www.merrickvillechamber.ca.
Shops were open between 9 am and 7pm to allow shoppers more time to look for that special something in the many unique stores in town. Many visitors came from far and wide to experience the small town feel of Merrickville, hear carols sung by the North Grenville Choir, and stop to chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus. The day ended in the traditional Tree Lighting Ceremony accompanied by the ringing of church bells and the annual holiday message from our Mayor.
On behalf of the Merrickville-Wolford & District Chamber of Commerce, and members of the Christmas In Merrickville Committee, I wish to thank all our Chamber Members and volunteers, who, through your efforts, made Christmas In Merrickville 2021 such an enjoyable and festive kickoff to the holiday season!
I don’t think I am alone in saying how truly blessed we are to live and work in such an amazing and giving community.