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Christmas on the LaHave kicking off festive season in Bridgewater and surrounding area

The Christmas on the LaHave festival in Bridgewater kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 30 with many events to choose from including two pancake breakfasts, a day of activities, a Santa parade, and of course, fireworks.
The Christmas on the LaHave festival in Bridgewater kicks off on Saturday, Nov. 30 with many events to choose from including two pancake breakfasts, a day of activities, a Santa parade, and of course, fireworks. - Contributed

‘We just want everyone to have fun’

On Saturday, Nov. 30, the Town of Bridgewater and surrounding area will come together to welcome Christmas with its annual celebration.

Although the festival has grown and adapted over the years, one thing still remains the same – it’s a way to bring people and communities together, says Michael Graves, chairman of the Christmas on the LaHave committee.

This annual tradition, which began in 2005, was known then as Bridgewater Shines. The name, however, changed to Christmas on the LaHave in 2010, says Graves, because the committee noticed the event was drawing crowds from a larger area and wanted it to feel more inclusive.

Over the years, Graves says the festival has changed and adapted based on what was working and what the residents wanted. A few years in, a parade was added, along with entertainment. Now, only the parade remains, where food bank items are still collected and letters to Santa are delivered, as the committee realized the entertainment wasn’t drawing the same crowds, says Graves. There used to be an art component called the Christmas Panels of Lunenburg County, along with horse-drawn carriage rides. This has now morphed into some new features like the 4H Community Forest, Candy Cane Lane and the best-decorated storefront competition, he says.

The popular haybale snowmen will not be happening this year because of a hay shortage, but the fireworks remain.

New this year, says Graves, is a best-decorated house contest, along with “light balls and a giant “light tree” in Candy Cane Lane.

If you are hungry, there are two breakfasts happening that day to choose from. The first is the breakfast with the Grinch happening from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Bridgewater Fire Hall, sponsored by the Girl Guides.

“This breakfast is the same idea as Breakfast with Santa,” says Guider Sandra Johnston. “The kids get to interact with the Grinch as he tries to steal pancakes and is generally mischievous with the kids (and adults) there.”

There are photo opportunities with the Grinch, says Johnston. Parents can take photos for free with their own devices.

Happening on Saturday morning as well from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the South Shore Centre is a Breakfast with Santa, free of charge, in centre court. This is followed by an afternoon of free activities.

“Our hope is that parents and children visit us for the afternoon and then head over to King Street to enjoy the Christmas on the LaHave parade and fireworks,” says Lisa Flemming, general manager of the South Shore Centre. “We just want everyone to have fun as we kick off the Christmas season.”

Christmas on the LaHave is such a great event for the community, says Graves.

“It is a great opportunity to see old friends and meet new ones. Bringing a large number of folks to the community can only help boost business,” he says.

If you go:

The Breakfast with the Grinch is Nov. 30, 7-11 a.m. at the Bridgewater Fire Hall. Kids three and under are free; ages 4-10 $4l 11 and up $7. Menu includes pancakes (plain or blueberry); sausages, tea/coffee/juice. https://www.bridgewater.ca/festivals-events/christmas-on-the-lahave

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