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Saturday, 20 November 2010

A Maritime Christmas

The Christmas season kicked off in fine style last night in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Each year the town celebrates a "Victorian Christmas" and this year the theme has added a Maritime slant.
The festivities began with a light up in Victoria Square in the centre of town. There was a huge turnout gathered around the bandstand as town crier Gerry Randall issued the official declaration to open the season. The mayor said a few words and then flicked a switch turning on all the lights. It was magical.
The Sackville Citizen's Band played as we sang Jingle Bells and then all trailed inside the Baptist Church for a carol sing with the ARHS Senior Concert Band. The sanctuary holds over 700 people and it was jam packed, with many folks standing. The band did a stellar job as usual...especially one little drummer boy :) During the last carol, folks exited the sanctuary to continue the festivities at Dayle's Department Store just up the street, singing as they walked. Store decorator Jackie Estabrooks really outdid herself this year. With help from the staff, as well as assistant Ashley, she has made dayle's look even more amazing than usual. The centrepiece of the decor is this full masted schooner built by talented staff member Darren Allen. The choir sang from the staircase and the Sackville Citizen's band played carols as each section of the store was lit. As the carols continued, refreshments - including shortbread cookies -were served.Under Jackie's direction, each department decorated their own tree in blue and blue/green, all in a nautical theme. The Nova Scotia tartan was also widely used.
Here you can see a whimsical whale's tale, and a Christmas sprite with a gift dangling from a fishing pole. What imagination!
Several wreaths encircle anchors.

Even a grouping of lobster traps was made to look festive.
The store looks incredible, and is well worth a visit to see this in person.
Tonight the fun continues with the town Christmas parade. That special drummer boy of mine will be marching with the high school band. The weatherman is predicting snow, something needed for a perfect Maritime Christmas.


  1. I am reading this from Connecticut, and wishing I could see these wonderful decorations in person. Your town sounds lovely.

  2. Oh! so beautiful and festive! Amherst is a pretty town...and from what I have seen has beautiful residents!

  3. Makes me homesick and I am not even from Amherst!! Dayle's sure did it up good!!

  4. Hi Karen
    I am from Amherst & returning after 43 years & I can tell you the festivities are all amazing, & now we wait patiently(pun) to see the lighting of the lights at our beautiful hospital. What a fund raising idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Mary from Montreal now in Amherst