A community Christmas dinner that serves hundreds annually won’t happen in Sidney this year, while Central Saanich will host familiar holiday activities under modified terms.
Organizers say the Community Christmas Dinner will not take place because of COVID-19 restrictions – with a promise it would be back in 2021.
The dinner celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and has become a traditional element of Christmas celebrations, serving turkey with all the trimmings thanks to donations from the local Fairway Market, Save-on-Foods and Thrifty Foods among others to hundreds of guests during two separate sittings.
“To my knowledge, there is nothing else on Christmas Day,” said Wendy Warshawski, coordinator of the volunteer committee that oversees the dinner, last year.
Saanichton Village Association (SVA), meanwhile announced that Saanichton Community Christmas will return for its 16th edition on Saturday, Dec. 5 following modifications to the event.
“We will make the event safe for families and groups of up to six to participate in and our focus this year, is to ensure we raise as much money as possible for the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank,” said Judy Beinder, SVA’s president. “We strongly believe this Christmas will be tough for many local families and we are stepping up to do our part and we hope you will join us in this fun, local event that has run for 16 consecutive years.”
Registration for the event as part of COVID protocols will place take at Central Saanich Fire Museum next to Municipal Hall.
SVA said the cost of this year’s event will be $25 for a group up to three and $50 per group of four to six which covers all the activities, with funds going to the food bank.
Attendees can take photos with Santa and take carriage rides with Tally-Ho.
The Christmas Tree Trail is still on with the ‘find the horse stuffy’ theme. It will see families (socially-distanced) walk the village to collect the names of at least five of the horses hidden inside the Christmas trees, or windows of local businesses.
Children will have the chance to win one of the many stuffies at the end of the event in a contest draw. While the cookie-decorating will not take place at the Pioneer Museum, organizers will supply children with cookie kits to take home.
“We plan to have a COVID-friendly station set up within the village and will hand them out as families pass by on the Christmas Tree Trail,” said Beinder. Visit saanichtonvillage.ca for more information.
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