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Christmas Adventure draws a bigger crowd

Mr. Grinch got arrested by the RCMP more than once for causing mischief. – © Jaymie White / Wreckhouse Press Inc.

By Jaymie White Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

STEPHENVILLE — Christmas Adventure celebrations may have been geographically condensed this year, but that did absolutely nothing to deter visitors who came from near and far to listen to the traditionally dressed carolers, take in the decorations, enjoy some festive giveaways and revel in the holiday cheer.

Smiling faces paraded up and down the street, mingling with new and old friends, taking memorable photos with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the dastardly Grinch as they weaved in and out of the many wonderful stores Main Street had to offer, finishing up their last minute holiday shopping. Councillor Tracy Boland couldn’t be happier with how the event turned out.

“It went well considering we had some volunteers with injuries, and a lot of cancellations last minute due to the flu virus, but we pulled it off thanks to the workers of the town of Stephenville and many great volunteers,” said Boland.

The increased number of attendees this year speaks for itself.

“We doubled the numbers from last year’s adventure! We had great help from Wreckhouse Press for our advertising, so that brought us a lot of out-of-towners which was fantastic! We had about 3,000 people from what I was told, and 1,700 last year! That was amazing.”

Boland said the feedback has been extremely positive.

“We read and heard the best reviews. People were so happy about this adventure. People seeing old friends and families together laughing and the feedback was more than incredible. The people spoke and told us they want more of these happy events.”

For a night full of amazing memories, Boland said there were a few moments that really stood out.

“Our night started with an amazing vintage choir of approximately 30 adults and when they started singing it actually brought tears to people’s eyes. I know it made me cry. Another highlight was the Grinch. He was a pest so we had the RCMP arrest him,” said Boland. “The lights, the people smiling, and the kids laughing, that’s what it’s all about.”

As with any large celebration, there were a few last minute hiccups.

“There are always a lot of fires to put out before things like this, but we got it done with what we had. Lots of people got sick sadly, so we had a smaller crew to pull it all off,” explained Boland. “The shorter distance was much better. We had a lot of floats cancel last minute, which was unfortunate, but people embraced it anyway. Huge hats off to the military for filling a gap! We will make sure next year we have a better back-up plan.”

Even with the hustle and bustle of the enormous crowd, Boland managed to take a moment to reflect on the reason for the event.

“My favourite part about the Christmas Adventure? Well, that’s easy. At one point I looked out from the stage at the people and took a really deep breath, taking it all in. The people, the community coming together in peace and love, that truly was a feeling I cannot describe in words. Hundreds of people full of love.”

Boland has a special message for all who participated.

“I want to thank everyone for supporting this event. We did this to give back to the community. The businesses that took advantage of this event as a fantastic, amazing marketing tool to give back to the people was a win-win for them in terms of sales and for people to be able to shop and get good discounts. The business owners who did participate gave it their all and I thank them so much for giving back, for three hours out of a long year for the people of their community,” said Boland. “I want to say thank you to the staff of the town of Stephenville and the most amazing volunteers

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