Are you ready for more Christmas celebrations? The first-ever Holiday Social by the Fire will be held in downtown Squamish tomorrow night (Friday, Dec. 20) from 5 to 8 p.m. This event sponsored by the District of Squamish will have bonfires in Stan Clarke Park and while roasting chestnuts, enjoy a hot apple cider. The evening includes special music, and holiday classics will be read by the Snowflake Queen and other popular Christmas stories. Gingerbread decorating will be fun for the kids and they can also get their faces painted. For more information, check www squamish.ca/heart.
The Heart of Christmas Cantata and silent auction is planned Sunday (Dec. 22) at 7 p.m. at the Squamish United Church on Fourth Avenue. It is a contemporary jazz production directed by Kayla Matzen, and the church choir will be joined by other singers from the community. The silent auction gets underway at 6 p.m. and includes gift certificates, unique dinners, event tickets and a display of crafts and gift baskets. Admission is by donation with proceeds going to the churches new sanctuary and offices at Centrepoint. A Family Christmas Eve service will be held at 7 p.m. on Dec. 24.
This Saturday (Dec. 21) the Shannon Falls Retirement Residence on Third Avenue will hold a fundraising bake sale from 10 a.m. to noon. This is a chance to pick up some last-minute home baking.
A slide show and book presentation will take place at the Squamish Public Library tonight (Thursday, Dec. 19) from 7 to 8 p.m. The guest author will be Susan Oakey-Baker as she launches her new book, Finding Jim. Her husband and renowned mountain guide Jim Haberl lost his life while climbing.
Do plan to visit Christmas Place at 1840 Garden Pl. in Valleycliffe in the next few days. Each year, Santa and Mrs. Claus are happy to see the children and each one receives a candy cane. The displays and lights are really something to see. I have it on good authority that Santa will be looking forward to meeting the children on Dec. 22, 23 and 24 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Many groups, clubs, individuals etc., have been very generous with their non-perishable food items to Community Christmas Care. On a personal note, our Eagle Grove seniors along with food donations from TOPS really outdid themselves this year.
When you are in the downtown area, drop into the Newport Market and check out the new Howe Sound Players photos and write-ups on past Christmas plays including the Best Christmas Pageant and A Christmas Carol. A display of past plays presented by the Players from 1964 to 2000 can be viewed at the Artista Espresso Shop at 37893 Second Ave. It is much appreciated that Doreen Ramus and Eric Andersen have spent many hours putting these displays together.
Tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 20) a free Holiday Wrap-up is planned at the Squamish Seniors Centre starting at 1 p.m. There will be special treats and a sing-along of Christmas favourites will be led by the Side-by-Side Singers. If you plan to attend, please call the centre at (604) 848-6898. If you forget to phone, still go. Free drop-in carpet bowling on Dec. 30 and Jan. 3 starts at noon. On Tuesday (Dec. 31) stop by at 10 a.m. for free cocoa and table games. On Thursday (Jan. 2) it is a holiday crafts event with grandparents and kids starting at 10 a.m. There is a $5 fee and you are asked to pre-register.
The last Winter Market of this year will be held on Sunday (Dec. 22) from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the CN Roundhouse and Conference Centre at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park.
The 4th Squamish Scout Group is selling Christmas trees at the Canadian Tire this weekend from 10 a.m. onwards. Your support of the scouts would be greatly appreciated.
The Over the Hill Hikers will meet at Canadian Tire on Tuesday (Dec. 24) at 9 a.m. for a Carpenters Bridge hike. On Dec. 31 the group will meet at Government Road near CN/Fraserwood at 9 a.m. for a Swan/Woodpecker trails hike. For more information, call Heather at (604) 892-9003.
The Tantalus Walking Club will meet at the Squamish Adventure Centre for a trail walk on Thursday, Dec. 26, at 10 a.m. The walkers will meet at the parking lot at the Squamish Valley Golf Course on Thursday (Jan. 2) at 10 a.m. For more information, call Joyce at (604) 898-5594.
The Hearts in Motion Walking Club will meet at Tim Hortons (Industrial Park) tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 20) at 10 a.m. The group will meet at the OSiyam Pavilion on Friday (Dec. 27) at 10 a.m. for a trail walk. Call myself at (604) 815-0152 or Yvonne at (604) 898-5268.
Another year is coming to an end and I want to thank all the contributors to my column and to the friendly staff at The Chief. I want to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the coming year.