Parades honourChristmas spirit
It’s that time of year again, when the anticipation of the soon to come Christmas glee is taking hold in Muskokan’s hearts and minds. Santa Claus, one of the holiday’s prime celebrities, is starting to prepare for all the festivities. He will be a busy man with all the exciting parades around Muskoka being thrown in his honour.
Bala will be kicking off this year’s Santa Claus parades on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 1 p.m. This will be their 38th parade and will begin at The KEE, continue down main street and end at the community centre. Hot dogs will be served and there will be a meet and greet with jolly old Saint Nick himself at the community centre.
To keep the festive spirit flowing, Port Carling will take the reins on Saturday Nov. 22 at 6:30 p.m. for their third nighttime parade. Mr. Claus will ride down Ferndale Road and end up at the community centre to meet children and other parade-goers. Together they will enjoy hotdogs, hot chocolate, children’s activities and some carol singing.
Huntsville’s traditional Light Up Muskoka theme is sure to be special for this year’s nighttime parade on Friday Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. “I attended my first one with the kids when I moved here 25 years ago. It was magical then and continues to please both young and old. I’m looking forward to another colourful, fun-filled event,” says Nick Paroschy, the Huntsville parade organizer.
Father Christmas will be up early the following morning to get to Gravenhurst’s parade on Saturday, Nov. 29 at 11 a.m.
Their theme is Superhero and Christmas Icons and this will be Gravenhurst’s 61st parade.
The Bracebridge Rotary parade is sure to please on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. This will be their 46th parade. Santa will travel the length of Manitoba Street and then stop for hot chocolate and a meet and greet in Memorial Park afterwards.
To end the Muskoka parades, a week and a half before the big day Santa Claus will make his last stop in Baysville for the Lions Santa Claus parade on Sunday, Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. The only parade to do two laps, the parade will begin on Bay Street, head onto Bridge Street, then to Howard Street, continuing on to Dickie Street and then back to Bridge Street.
The annual parades from each town bring the Christmas cheer alive in all corners of Muskoka.
Gravenhurst High fights hunger
Empty Bowls events are held around the world. In Gravenhurst local businesses, artists and high school students are getting together for the Empty Bowls fundraiser.
Each bowl purchased at the seventh annual Empty Bowls fundraiser has passed through many hands during the creative process.
Handmade by local artists Jim Brown, Jonathan Bullock or Gina Denne, the bowls were glazed by Grade 12 students at Gravenhurst High School.
The fundraiser will take place on Nov. 6 at 6 p.m. at Gravenhurst High School.
For $25, guests will receive one of these 175 individual bowls, along with a soup dinner, live entertainment from local musicians and students, and a chance to bid on a silent auction featuring work by local artists Penny Varney, Hannah Lin and Linda Kristen Blix. All items and meals are donated by businesses from Gravenhurst.
“This event allows students the opportunity to give back to their community,” says Sue Buckingham, art teacher at Gravenhurst High School, who organizes the event. “The students in Red Seal chef Sara Underwood’s food technology classes will make five varieties of soup and homemade bread and cookies.”
The concept behind Empty Bowls is that at the end of the night, after a modest meal of soup and bread, your empty bowl symbolizes all of the people – locally, nationally and internationally – who are hungry.
All proceeds of this fundraiser go to the Gravenhurst Supper Club and The Salvation Army Food Bank. Tickets are available by contacting Gravenhurst High School. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Girlfriends’ Getaway features Johnny Reid
A revamped format is pumping up the excitement around Girlfriends Getaway Weekend in Huntsville.
Taking place from Nov. 7 to 9, the weekend features a Friday night performance by country star Johnny Reid and a whole lot of action on Saturday night.
Many events, including the Canada Summit Centre show featuring Reid, as well as Club Vegas on Saturday night, are only for those of age of majority.
Having a concert of this nature on Friday night is a change from the past few years, when normally a fashion show plus other entertainment was held.
But in order to keep things fresh the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce decided to adjust the format a bit this year.
Girlfriends Getaway Weekend is a Huntsville/Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce signature event.
It has grown substantially over the years. More than 1,000 women visit Huntsville for this annual weekend.
Other Saturday events include the Risque Cabaret at Clublink’s Grandview Golf Club, a Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend Curling Bonspiel at the Huntsville Curling Club, a Cooking Demonstration with Jeff Suddaby of 3 Guys and a Stove and much more.
Also on Friday is the art exhibition opening by Kate Brown entitled Mon Petit: Cocktails & Art at the Lift Ground Print Studio and Gallery at 4 p.m.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit huntsvillegirlfriendsgetaway.ca
For many women, it’s a great weekend to get away with friends, do a bit of shopping, enjoy a few meals and relax.
Dragonfly Theatre dials M for Murder
The play may be 60 years old, but Dragonfly Theatre is expecting Dial M for Murder to draw a good crowd.
In early November, Frederick Knott’s 1954 classic is coming to the Gravenhurst Opera House thanks to the Dragonfly Theatre group.
Jim Dwyer, a Dial M for Murder fan ever since he was young and a veteran actor, says he has been itching to put on this play for years. After approaching Pru Donaldson (part owner of Dragonfly Theatre along with her husband and daughter), they decided to make the project come to life.
“The play is 60 years old now, but doesn’t feel dated the way a lot of the plays of the 50s do. Its not overly long, its not too heavy on stuff . . . it just grabs your attention and you can’t wait to see whether the bad guy is going to get caught and how he is going to get caught at the end,” says Dwyer.
Since beginning work on the play in June, Donaldson has been directing the cast of five.
“We started out as a group of British people who wanted to put on some British comedy,” says Donaldson. Starting out with only 35 people a night for shows, they now attract a larger audience of 90 people or more each night for their plays.
Dragonfly Theatre is a not-for-profit group that only ever wanted to make enough money to pay for the set the next time they put on a play, says Donaldson. As the group now earns more revenue from their shows, they give students going into acting and film bursaries for college and university every year.
The first show will be on Thursday, Nov. 6 and guests will have the option of either having a dinner beforehand, served by Riverwalk, or simply enjoying the show.
To purchase tickets from the box office, call 705-687-5550.
The show will run for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights over the course of two weeks, beginning on Nov. 6 and ending on Nov. 15. There will be one matinee performance on Sunday Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. with all proceeds going to Muskoka Animal Rescue.
The plot of the play, made famous by the Alfred Hitchcock film, is what makes it so enjoyable.
“It’s a fun play. It’s not melodramatic, it’s just a good, entertaining thriller that holds your attention like a vise,” he says.