Christmas Promenade in Kemptville

Old Town Kemptville will be bringing the holiday spirit to town this weekend during the first ever Christmas Promenade.

The new Christmas Promenade will allow people to enjoy a variety of festive activities throughout Prescott Street in Downtown Kemptville.

The Old Town Kemptville BIA and the Municipality of North Grenville will be having the holiday themed Promenade, which will open the street up for a myriad of different activities, for one day, on Saturday.

The Christmas event follows the Downtown Promenade that said goodbye to summer and welcomed people to rediscover Kemptville’s downtown in September.

As with that event, Prescott Street will be closed to vehicular traffic from one end of Reuben Street to the other Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., while the event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Alternate parking will be available at Riverside Park.

The festivities will begin with story time, with Mayor Nancy Peckford reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” at 11 a.m., at the corner of Prescott Street and Asa Street.

Live Christmas music from local choirs, the North Grenville Concert Choir, Village Voices Chamber Choir and the Kemptville Male Choir will be filling the air of downtown beginning at 11:15 a.m., at the Asa Street stage, while Santa will be arriving by horse-drawn wagon at the “North Pole” at the same time at Riverside Park, where he will be throughout the day.

“We’re going to be able to live-stream the story time with Mayor Nancy and all of the live music with the choir thanks to an agreement with Live Stream Junkies,” said Deron Johnston, executive director of the Old Town Kemptville BIA.

He added the live stream will be available, for those who can’t make it out to the event, on the Old Town Kemptville BIA Facebook page.

The horse-drawn wagon rides will then begin and take passengers from the B&H parking lot, throughout some of the downtown before making a stop to the “North Pole” to see jolly Saint Nick, and heading back to the B&H parking lot.

“We can’t do the sit-on-Santa’s-knee thing; that’s not something we can do but we will have it set up so that kids can have a great conversation with him,” said Johnston.

Throughout the day Old Town Kemptville will be filled with a variety of local vendors for the Christmas artisans’ market.

Other family festive events and activities will be happening throughout the day, including other children’s activities and entertainment. There may also be a special announcement made closer to the date.

The Old Town Kemptville BIA has partnered with the Salvation Army Food Bank and people are encouraged to bring food donations down to the Christmas Promenade, said Johnston.

The application fee from market vendors will also be donated and go toward the local food bank.

Volunteers were still needed to help out with the holiday-themed event; those interested in becoming a volunteer can email [email protected]

(Jessica Munro is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)

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