By Charlie Senack, Barrhaven Independent
It’s beginning to feel like Christmas in Barrhaven as the lights at Strandherd and Greenbank were lit for the season.
On Nov. 20, the Barrhaven BIA, which put on the festive display for the third year in a row, turned on the lights during a virtual tree lighting ceremony which lasted about 25 minutes.
Among those in attendance was special guest Santa Claus, who will be stopping in Barrhaven for all the good boys and girls again this December 25th.
“The lights guided me to all your homes last Christmas, and the reindeers could see them from far away,” Santa told the children watching.
While the annual Barrhaven Santa Claus parade was cancelled for a second year in a row, and the tree lighting ceremony couldn’t be held in person due to COVID concerns, the virtual ceremony was an opportunity to support local businesses which have been hit hard during the pandemic.
“I just want to say thank you to all the small and medium-sized businesses in Barrhaven; that is who we at the BIA represent,” said Jason MacDonald, owner of MacDonald Property Group, and chair of the Barrhaven BIA. “Your restaurants; your shops; your spas; they are all ready to serve you. Be sure to shop local this year and show as much support as you can to your community.”
Students from the Pirouette Rhythmic Gymnastics Centre located on Fallowfield Road dazzled the virtual crowd with their performances, and students from the Silver 7 Martial Arts and Fitness facility showed off their strong physical skills.
Tanya from Exhalo Spa showcased some of her products which are being offered this Christmas season, including candles and bath bombs for moms, and body lotions for dads. They also offer gift cards which can make a perfect Christmas present for any parent.
Julie from Mountain Goat Yoga taught Santa Claus how to relax the mind through breathing exercises, as a way to relieve stress during the busy Christmas rush.
“I’m so stressed; all the lists are coming in like crazy,” said Father Christmas. “The elves — they are overworked and are having a really hard time.”
Barrhaven’s Boston Pizza also played a virtual Christmas trivia game with the kids, and staff from the new Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel threw a dance party during the pre-taped show.
This year 62,700 Christmas lights will be sparking through downtown Barrhaven, with blue and white lights — the unofficial Barrhaven colours — on all four corners of Greenbank and Strandherd. The lights will be lit from 5:00 pm until midnight up until mid January 2022.
The lights first made an appearance in December 2019, with the first virtual tree lighting ceremony being held last year. The display which aims to bring Christmas cheer after a dark year continues to grow in size.
The Barrhaven BIA will also be doing their annual online holiday Facebook giveaways. Prizes will be posted daily at 7am and you will have until midnight to enter. The contests will last until mid December.
They have also posted a Barrhaven Holiday Gift Guide which can be viewed here: