Celebration of Christmas and Christmas Castle team up to create Christmas Village at Melfort and District Museum

Melfort Museum Facebook The Melfort Museum Celebration of Christmas is a walk through Christmas Village for 2021 in partnership with the Melfort Christmas Castle.

A pair of Melfort festive events are joining forces this year to celebrate the holiday season. The Melfort Museum’s Celebration of Christmas and the creators of the Christmas Castle have put together a Christmas Village at the Melfort and District Museum.

The two events that have run separately in the past have now joined forces.

“It’s our 16th year with the Celebration of Christmas but we changed it up this year, primarily due to COVID regulations, but also because for a number of years we have been wanting to do something over here at the museum for Christmas,” Melfort Museum Curator Gailmarie Anderson said. “We are finally able to do that with a lot of help in partnership with the Christmas Castle people.”

The Christmas Village opened for its first round of visitors on Dec. 2, continuing to Dec. 4. It will also be open from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day from Dec. 9-11, Dec. 16-18, and Dec. 20-22. Anderson credited the volunteers and donors for helping make the village what it is.

“It is all lit up, and it looks lovely,” she said. “We have lots of volunteers who have got apple cider and candy canes and glow sticks to give out, and it is all by donations.”

Organizers are also collecting donations for the hospital, the North Central Health Foundation, and for the museum, which is trying to restore an old caboose.

Anderson said the changes have already see a positive response.

“It’s really nice. We had our first night last night (Dec. 2) and everybody who came really enjoyed it,” she explained. “It gets you into the Christmas spirit with all of the lights and we had a big bonfire out there and serving hot cider.”

The first few days of the outdoor event also saw decent weather. Anderson said they’re hoping for more nice days, but they’re prepared for cold temperatures.

“It all depends on the weather now but we are ready,” she said.

The Celebration of Christmas has been held in a number of venues during its long history. The first years were in what was then the Travelodge. Organizers then set it up the Melfort Mall for a year, then in the United Church Christian Education Centre, and in the Kerry Vickar Centre.

In 2018 and 2019 it was held in the Historic Post Office and last year it was held as online due to COVID-19.

The event traditionally included a Community Silent Auction and a business lunch and Christmas Dinner.

Anderson said they have scheduled the Silent Auction, which is usually a part of the Celebration, for spring with a date yet to be determined.

Anderson said they already had a lot to focus on, and didn’t have time to organize a separate silent auction.

The Christmas Castle was founded by Dr. Yemi Laosebikan and his wife Foluke Laosebikan, who transformed the Historic Post Office in Melfort into a festive wonderland for the Christmas Season. The idea is relatively simple, with Christmas trees, nativity scenes and other festive decorations on the main floor of the Historic Post Office. The idea began in 2018 and returned in 2019 and was presented along with the City of Melfort.

Anderson encourages everyone to come and get in the Christmas spirit at the Museum.

“It’s a great experience and also the donations go to a great cause,” she said. “Hopefully people in Melfort and area will come and see our Christmas village.”