Winter Wonderland brings magic of Christmas

By Robin McCormick
West End Correspondent

The Winter Wonderland Trail of Lights was an overwhelming success, with over 1300 people attending and people of all ages from seniors to babies being pushed on sleighs. The event took place December 10 at the Family Healing Program on Mctavish Rd. Weechi-it-te-win Family Services made this event possible with the preparations starting in November, right after the Haunted Woods ended – Halloween event that saw over 1,000 people attending.

Myself along with eleven family members thoroughly enjoyed the evening. The lights were breathtaking as were the many, many displays. From dinosaurs to brightly lit Christmas presents, there was definitely something for everyone. Even the Grinch and Santa Claus himself made an appearance.

The music played was a variety of traditional and newer selections. The displays and music could mesmerize you as you got caught up in the true meaning of Christmas.

As one listened you could here the laughter and joy of families making memories. Just what WFS aimed for.

And of course the weather conditions were perfect.

There was a private showing the Friday evening for Caregivers, children in care and their families, as well as Weechi-it-te-win staff and their families.

Although this event was set to go last year (2021) the Saturday night that was opened to the public had to be cancelled with only the private showing taking place on the Friday evening.

In 2022 Special Projects manager Danielle Bruyere began planning and working diligently on the Trail of Lights event.

Danielle and her team of volunteers spent weeks stringing 100’s of metres of Christmas lights and extension cords and placing dozens of large blown-up decorations and numerous other props and light sources along the Family Healing Program trail on Mctavish Rd.

Danielle shared “We couldn’t have done it without the strong support of the WFS staff that help make these events happen.”

Danielle said she was blown away by the amount of people who came to their Winter Wonderland Trail and how much joy it brought families who attended. Over 500 hotdogs were served, two very large pots of soup and many gallons of hot chocolate not to mention over 700 bags of candy for children.

There aren’t many events in the RR District these days that are primarily intended to be for families and WFS has been dedicated to helping families enjoy time together and creating lasting memories of special occasions.

Executive Director Laurie Rose shared, “It is also a wonderful opportunity to enhance community cohesion and interaction.”

Laurie also shared, “I’d like to thank our neighbours on Mctavish Road for their support and understanding of the heavy traffic that has been a result of our two last family events. Even though plowing had been done to allow extra parking the parking line extended down the highway as people waited for parking to open up.

Laurie shared, Mctavish Road is normally quiet. Once again she thanks all for their understanding and patience. Laurie ended with Miigwech.

I would like to end with a thank you also. Thanks to WFS for giving families a wonderful evening. A place where families can go and have memories that may very well last a life time.