A busy ‘Holly Daze’ weekend

Growing up in Emo, I have seen many “Holly Daze” celebrations come and go, so, of course, I was expecting a busy weekend again this year.
But I wasn’t prepared for how busy I would actually be—there was just so much to see and do. And I didn’t even get everywhere I had hoped to.
On Friday evening, I headed into Emo, excited to see the Borderland Community Orchestra perform for the first time.
The Donald Young School gym was packed and everyone there enjoyed goodies, a silent auction, and wonderful music.
Emceed by Kelsey Quibell and Shannon Darby, the program—entitled “A Holly Jolly Christmas”—included selections such as “Do You Hear What I Hear?” “Carol of the Bells,” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” which I enjoyed.
I also enjoyed the sing-a-long where the orchestra played many of my favourite Christmas carols.
Having graduated with a concentration in music criticism, all I can say is the orchestra’s performance was of a very high quality—a unified blend of talent from across the district.
I was impressed.
After the concert, which raised money for Donald Young School’s February play “Peter Pan,” I headed home for a quiet evening. But once the sun was up, I was ready (so I thought) for all of the day’s events.
My first stop was at the craft sale at the Emo Legion, where there was lots to buy, including scarves, soaps, baked goods, and decorations.
After purchasing some soap and a book, I realized it was almost time for Emo Chamber of Commerce president Colleen Vennechenko to announce the winner of this season’s “Biggest Loser” contest.
Quite a few people gathered at The Corner Closet to see Pam Van Heyst receive $400 for being the “Biggest Loser”—shedding 41.6 pounds over the 12-week program.
Other winners were Cindy Falloon (down 38.4 pounds), who earned $250; Karen Borger (33.8), who pocketed $150; Crystal Gray (24.2), who received $75; and Janette Gavel (21.2), who took home $50.
Anne Marie Vanderaa (20.0 pounds), Barb Forbes (18.4), Heather Schram (17.8), Bridget Beck (16.8), and Andrea Curtis (12.2) all received $25 for placing in the top 10.
Next, I headed over to the Emo Museum for the Women’s Institute tea and bake sale. Again, there was lots of goodies to purchase, as well as the opportunity to sit down and enjoy some sandwiches and socialize.
After a quick bite to eat, I stopped at Cloverleaf to check out the sales. Members of the Emo Figure Skating Club were there selling raffle tickets—and there were plenty of other draws I put my name in for.
Then I noticed it was almost time for Santa’s visit, so I made my way through the cold to the Emo Toy Library, where many children lined up to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas.
Children also made a craft to take home, put tickets in at the penny table, and played with their friends.
Next, I decided to make my way down Front Street visiting several businesses, such as the Tread Shed, Meyers’ Clothing, Emo Drugs, and Tompkins Hardware—where I put my name in for several more draws.
At 3 p.m. at Tompkin’s Hardware, Vennechenko, along with Coun. Ed Carlson, drew the names for the 13 remaining spots for the 2006 Emo Walleye Classic.
They included Ryan Libiak/Crystal Hyatt, Chad Jackson/Dan Hanson, Jane Brigham/Shirley McQuaker, Dale Hartlin/Dan Pollard, Larry Kellar/Jason Kellar, Bev Hasiuk-Strachan/Jesse Hasiuk, Jamie Eliuk/Kevin Cates, Jim Steele/Ed Bullied, Curtis Sheloff/Don Smeeth, Tricia Bombay/Liz Bombay, Irwin Hughes/Amber Hughes, Jamey Gowdy, and Rick Vanderaa/Sonny Caul.
The remaining teams were drawn to make up the order of the waiting list.
Heading outside again, I noticed sliding, skating, and hay rides had begun near the Lions Park.
Crazy carpets in hand, kids took turns flying down the bank. Others, meanwhile, brought their skates or simply “skated” in their boots, playing hockey or practising their moves on the ice at the tennis courts.
And the kids really seemed to enjoy the hayrides around town, some taking several trips.
There also was a bonfire, marshmallows, and hot chocolate available to help everyone stay warm.
At 4 p.m. by the bonfire, it was announced the winners of the two $250 gift certificates were Monika Galloway and Darwin Thompson.
As the sun began to set, I realized the day wasn’t over yet. People bundled up in warm clothes got ready for the fireworks down by the river, which were spectacular to see in the night sky.
Even though it was chilly outside, it seemed as though there was a good turnout for the annual “Holly Daze” celebrations—and everyone there had a good time.
Vennechenko said things went “really well,” noting many businesses told her they were quite busy.
I agree—it was a busy, yet enjoyable weekend.