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Old-Fashioned Holiday Fun Planned At The John R. Park Homestead

Wednesday November 29th, 2017, 9:00am

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The John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area will celebrate this year’s holiday season in pioneer style with the Eve of St. Nicholas special event on Sunday, December 10th.

“We find that visitors really enjoy our old-fashioned holiday fun,” says Kris Ives, Curator/Education Coordinator. “This event offers an opportunity for memory-making and taking part in a handmade holiday celebration.” Among the merriment, visitors can find two of St. Nicholas’ historic counterparts – Belsnickel and Ruprecht. These figures not only have the ‘naughty and nice’ list close at hand – they also come with a host of other long-lost holiday accoutrements including a sleigh and coal! For a $2 donation, visitors can have a child’s name added to Ruprecht’s ‘nice’ list by registering it online at nicelist2017.eventbrite.ca .

As it would have been in the Park Family time, the 1850s house and farm are resplendently decorated with natural forest materials. Get hands-on with the holiday fun by stringing popcorn, baking a gingerbread cookie on the hearth, ornament making, and enjoying 19th century toys and games. Demonstrations of blacksmithing, woodcarving, fireplace cooking and more are also on the list of experiences.

“Perhaps the most popular, is the chance for guests to meet St. Nick’s white mare,” Ives adds. “Many people don’t know that St. Nicholas’ sleigh was piloted with a white mare before reindeer came into the picture!” There will also be horse drawn carriage rides, complete with sleigh bells, available for a small donation (weather permitting).

The day runs from 12noon to 4pm with the age-old Celtic winter tradition of Wassailling taking place at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm to celebrate the year’s bountiful harvest.

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