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Holiday spirit will come alive in Mississippi Mills this weekend

A photo from a past Almonte Santa Claus parade. – Mississippi Mills photo

Embrace the magic of the holiday season in Mississippi Mills December 1-3 with three days of festive fun as Santa Claus will be welcomed for the entire weekend.

The ever-popular Light Up the Night wintry open-air concert returns on Friday, December 1. Almonte’s Mill Street will close to vehicles and thousands will fill the downtown core for an evening of holiday music, emceed by Ottawa Valley favorite, Wayne Rostad. Sing along to your favorite Christmas tunes, hear from some puppet friends, and watch in amazement as The Snow Queen and her Twinkle Fairies wave their magic wands to bring Santa Claus to town. Stick around after the concert for a magical fireworks display.

Come early to shop at our downtown merchants or enjoy a bite to eat at one of our restaurants. Food and drink vendors will be set up at 6:30 p.m. The concert begins at 7 p.m. sharp.

The following day, Saturday, December 2, it’s time for the Pakenham Santa Claus Parade at 1 p.m. The theme for both the Pakenham and Almonte parades this year is ‘200 Years of Christmas – Choose an Era or Decade,’ to celebrate Mississippi Mills’ Bicentennial.

The parade leaves the Stewart Community Centre at 1 p.m. sharp and will travel up MacFarlane Street to Renfrew Street, left on Highway 29 and up Jessie Street, and finishes back at the community centre. After the parade, the Pakenham & District Civitan Club will serve free hot dogs and hot chocolate to visitors and prizes will be awarded in the upper hall. The Civitan Club is also collecting food donations for Lanark County Food Bank – The Hunger Stop. Families are encouraged to stick around for free public skating.

On Sunday, December 3, it’s Almonte’s time to shine with the annual Christmas Night Parade at 5 p.m. It will be a twinkly celebration with plenty of sparkling lights and music!

There’s a new route for 2023. The parade will leave from Almonte Civitan Club at 5 p.m. sharp. With the help of the OPP, it will cross Highway 29 and travel down Almonte Street. Next, the parade will make a right turn on Mill Street, travel through downtown (you can get some of the best vantage points here!) and make another right on Bridge Street, ending at the John Levi Community Centre.

Be sure to bring along some non-perishable food items as the Almonte Scouts will be collecting food donations along the route for the food bank.

Following the parade, join us in the upper hall of the John Levi Community Centre for float prizes, free hot dogs and hot chocolate, courtesy of the Almonte Lions Club. Free public skating will also be offered.

Any questions about either parade should be directed to the Mississippi Mills Recreation and Culture Department (613-256-2064 or recandculturedept@mississippimills.ca). Reminder – Christmas music is strongly encouraged but throwing candy (or other items) from parade floats is not permitted.

For complete details on Christmas weekend in Mississippi Mills, visit: https://www.mississippimills.ca/en/explore-and-play/christmas-in-mississippi-mills-2020.aspx. We hope to celebrate the spirit of the season with you, December 1-3!

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