The Village of Donalda was alive and busy on Sunday, Dec. 4 as families and friends moseyed downtown to enjoy the events of “A Donalda Village Christmas.”
The celebration of the holiday season took up both the Donalda Community Hall and the neighbouring Coulee Friendship drop-in centre.
The day started with a hot lunch at the Donalda Community Hall, which was decorated with numerous Christmas trees for the Festival of Trees.
Across the street at the Friendship Club, Santa Claus set up a shopping centre with his elves.
At 3 p.m., Santa took a break from his shopping centre to sit with the community’s boys and girls, hearing about their wishes and wants for Christmas Day.
Each child was provided with a holiday treat bag, full of chocolates, candy canes, and other goodies. A photographer was on hand to snap pictures of the youngsters with the jolly red-suited toymaker from the North Pole.
The downstairs of the hall was set up as a country market at the same time, providing locals and those who came in from afar a chance to do some Christmas shopping.
Tracy Sprague and Erin Mercier had set up a table at the Country Market to raise money for the Donalda Animal Rescue. In preparation for the market, Mercier spent days making homemade, safe and play-friendly toys for dogs and cats.
“The proceeds are all going to our cat clinic in January,” Sprague said. The rescue, in conjunction with Forestburg Veterinary Clinic, is hosting a spay and neuter clinic in the new year.
“It’s been very busy, very constant,” Sprague said of the market, a sentiment shared by most vendors. Another feeling shared amongst the vendors was that while people were browsing, they weren’t buying.
Though they didn’t sell as much as they had hoped, Sprague noted that a lot of people stopped to talk about what they were selling, and why.
“Events like these help us get the message out,” Sprague said. “They’re worth it.”
The day was topped off with a special parade through the village, a bright-lit spectacle of lights that brought oohs and ahhs from the children who braved the snowy chill.