An hour of smiles, song and Santa returns to Estevan Village Dec. 13.
“We hold the carolling event just as a fun evening event for the merchants to give back to the community,” said Lesley Blackman, owner of Estevan Pharmacy and one of the organizers of the annual event. “We just love to give back to the community.”
“It’s just a real old-fashioned singing with the band and the choir with St. Philip’s Church,” said another organizer, Barbara Di Lucca. “It’s really simple, hot apple cider and carolling.”
As per tradition, Jeff Weaver, director of bands at Oak Bay High, will bring members of the school’s senior concert band to provide the soundtrack for carolling.
The school gets involved “to promote Christmas and community and fun and get out of the band room,” said Weaver. “The community involvement has been bigger and bigger every year … it’s just really neat to see people singing Christmas carols and having a good time.
“Santa Claus always shows up too which is super cool and he has treats for the kids.”
This year in a new twist, singing soloist Holly Melville will perform a song or two aside from the community singalong songs such as Jolly Old St. Nicholas and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
The St. Philip Anglican Church choir keeps the shy singer from feeling alone as they lead the carolling.
“The St. Philip’s congregation puts up hot apple cider for the carollers to enjoy. There’ll be cookies,” added Blackman.
The pharmacy offers a free raffle for a fresh Christmas turkey, and for those looking to give back, a place to drop off donations.
“We really try and reach out to the community to bring non-perishable food items or toiletries to donate to the Mustard Seed Food Bank,” said Blackman. “We are always hearing about families in need and the Mustard Seed Food Bank does a phenomenal job of feeding families and it’s important for us to support them.”
The event runs Dec. 13 starting at 4 p.m.
“Weather is not an issue,” Blackman said. “We sing in the rain and the snow.”