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Christmas at the Lighthouse


Celebration of the season and culture

POINT ARMOUR, N.L.

Folks flocked to the Point Armour Lighthouse Dec. 2 for the second annual Christmas at the Lighthouse.

The event is a festival of Christmas traditions for young and old alike.

“A lot of the interpretation at the lighthouse is around the late 1800s and early 1900s, so we try to offer activities representative of that time,” said Bonnie Goudie of the Labrador Straits Historical Development Corporation (LSHDC).

Goudie is site supervisor for the Point Amour Lighthouse Provincial Historic Site.

Those attending the event were kept busy with a variety of activities including making Christmas crafts that were both simple and beautiful.

“We made orange slices crafts and birch bark gift bags,” Goudie said. “They used the birch bark to cut out different shapes like a rabbit and a bird and they were encouraged to decorate them with different things.”

People also decorated cookies in the shape of lighthouses and gingerbread and made kissing bells which once served the same purpose as today’s mistletoe.

“We used evergreens that we could collect locally,” Goudie said.

As with any great Christmas celebration there was also live local entertainment, thanks to local musicians Sabrina Belben and Laquita Normore.

Belben and Normore are fantastic performers and are great at interacting with children, Goudie said.

“They brought instruments for the children to play — they had a washboard and ugly sticks,” she said.

By the time the event was over, Goudie said the crowd had delighted in a visit from a group of jannies.

“We don’t hire jannies. We just invite them to come and, with the magic of Christmas, they always show up and they did a couple of rounds of dances with everybody,” Goudie said.

Culture

The Point Amour Lighthouse is touted as the tallest lighthouse in Atlantic Canada and the second tallest in the country.

The Christmas event came about thanks to the Cultural Heritage and Arts Resource Team (CHART) and was held in partnership with the Provincial Historic Sites.

Goudie explained that CHART thought it would be a great way to showcase local culture by doing things Christmas related. CHART volunteers gave of their time in planning and executing the event. Provincial Historic Sites provided some funding towards the activities.

Volunteers hosted a tea on Dec. 1 and people came to decorate the lighthouse in preparation for the big event the following day.

“We had a group of kids come to help,” Goudie said. “They made wreaths and mantel pieces and other lovely things. People from the community also came out to help.”

By the time the volunteers left, the lighthouse was beautifully decorated and ready for Christmas at the Lighthouse.

The celebrations were well attended.

“We had pretty close to 100 people and, even though it was a bit chilly, people went outside and lit a fire and roasted marshmallows,” Goudie said. “Everything went really well.”

danette@nl.rogers.com

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