‘Holly Daze’ still a hit after many years

Dave Ogilvie

Since its inception many years ago, Emo’s annual “Holly Daze” festivities have remained a popular local event and a great way to kick off the holiday season.
Despite the temptation of sales in larger centres, and the lure of a strong Canadian dollar in the United States, people from across the district have remained positive and actively supported this annual celebration last week.
The success of any small-town event depends largely on the enthusiastic participation of its citizens. And this year’s “Holly Daze” parade was no exception.
By parade time on Friday (Dec. 3), Front Street was lined with vehicles full of anxious spectators.
As the lead vehicle rounded the corner in front of the old post office, doors flew open and kids piled out onto the street—ready to collect some candy, check out the various floats, and, of course, wait for the arrival of Santa Claus.
Those on hand were not disappointed as local churches, businesses, and various organizations dazzled the crowd with the lights and sounds of the Christmas season.
Most people stayed on Front Street following the parade to enjoy some hot chocolate, courtesy of the Emo rec committee and to watch the annual fireworks display.
 Saturday morning was the busy time for most of the businesses. People took advantage of the sales, visiting many of the stores, picking up a present or two, and signing up for the draw for two prizes of Emo gift certificates.
Saturday afternoon, however, was a bit of a disappointment for most stores.
As a result, Emo Chamber of Commerce members are looking at making changes to the
long-running winter celebration.
If anyone has some suggestions or ideas for additional activities, the Chamber would love to hear from you.
“Holly Daze” is a community event and its success depends on local participation and input. If you have some feedback, simply let one of the Chamber members know what you think.
“We’ll be having a meeting soon to review this year’s ‘Holly Daze’ and to make some initial plans for next year,” noted Borderland Esso owner Dave Goodman, who sits on the Chamber’s board of directors.
The churches that participated in this year’s “Holly Daze,” however, all were pleased with the support from those who dropped by their events.
The “Family Movie Night” at Calvary Baptist Church’s on Friday after the parade and fireworks was deemed a success.
“We weren’t quite full but everyone enjoyed the movies and had a great time,” noted Lois Dueck.
The Knox Café held at the United Church also was successful. Many people stopped by for a hot beverage, a delicious home-made cinnamon bun, and a chance to bid on the “Shiny Penny Table” gift baskets.
They also had an opportunity to peruse the wares of several local artisans.
Meanwhile, organizers of the tea and bake sale at St. Patrick Church’s also were pleased with the support they received from the public.
As in past years, many people stopped in to enjoy a hot beverage, some sandwiches, and dainties, as well as have a chance to meet up with friends.
Most people took the opportunity to place some tickets on the great penny table items. They also bought tickets on the “Glad Tidings Mailbox” gift certificate draw.
Tickets, which cost $2 each or three for $5, gave participants a chance at winning 15 local gift certificates with a total value topping $360!
The committee, which is raising money for a new roof on the church, will be selling tickets until this Saturday (Dec. 11).
Tickets can be purchased in the parish hall on Saturday from 5-7 p.m., after which the draw will be made.
In related news, the annual “Beautiful Baby” contest, which has become a popular event at Meyers Clothing in Emo, will continue until Dec. 24.
The money raised from this event will go to the Emo & District Hospital Auxiliary, which still is raising money to help pay for the hospital’s digital X-ray equipment.
So drop by the store, place a bid, and check out the ongoing sales there.
“Holly Daze” 2010 concluded Saturday afternoon with the drawing for the Emo gift certificates, with this year’s winners being Marlene Visser (ticket drawn at Norlund’s) and Laurette Bois (ticket drawn at Kaemingh’s).
The winners of all in-store draws will be posted at the individual businesses. If you haven’t received a phone call by this time, better luck next year.
If you were among the people who were out of town, or you simply missed this year’s “Holly Daze,” be sure to mark the first weekend in December on your 2011 calendar.
Next year’s celebration no doubt will be even bigger and better.