The Sherbrooke Village Old Fashioned Christmas Association (SVOFCA) is a not-for-profit, volunteer group, who work diligently to offer an off-season, illuminated Christmas festival.
There are 12 board members and more than 100 volunteers performing thousands of volunteer hours in preparation and presentation of the festival. The members are committed to host as many free family and children’s activities as possible during the annual celebration of rural Nova Scotia Christmas traditions.
The event has received the DEANS Festival & Event Award, Crystal Award of Excellence, Community Tourism Award, and has been named One of Nova Scotia’s Top Events in My Destination NS.
The annual celebration is held for two weekends, Nov. 24 to 26 and Dec. 2 and 3, and will include caroling, festive dining, craft workshops, craft market, house tours, concerts, ecumenical service and children’s crafts, activities, entertainment and visits from Santa.
There is an annual Jingle Run/Walk, closing parade and dance. Exciting new events this year include; visits to Whoville, the Ultimate Santa Race and Guided Lantern Tours of the Village. This year will also see the much-anticipated Victorian Tea will move back to its former location at the Sherbrooke Village Tea Room.
The event, which began in 1996, has grown from an expected 1,000 participants over a three-weekend schedule to more than 11,500 in two weekends.
“This is a very emotional and exciting year for Sherbrooke Village Old Fashioned Christmas with lots of changes and all of those for the better,” Heather Laybolt, committee chair person, said.
Growth brings with it new challenges, including the safety of the community and all of those in attendance. In past years participants paraded down the main street, blocking the only access road in Sherbrooke, from the tree lighting to the festival location.
This year, the official tree lighting has been relocated to St. James Presbyterian Church lawn. The candlelight procession will leave from here and move on to the performance centre, all within Sherbrooke Village gates.
An additional ‘wow’ factor this year will be the spectacular lighting display. We have more than doubled the amount to more than 50,000 lights adding to the festival ambience. Illumination will be from Nov. 24 to Jan. 6, from 5 to 10 p.m.
The event is dependent on financial support through sponsorships and donations and we are truly thankful to all who generously donate. They bring smiles and feelings of nostalgia to many.
For a printable schedule visit the Sherbrooke Village website, or for more information, visit the facebook page or call 888-743-7845.