Downtown Guelph prepares for upcoming Christmas festival Wa Jobz


Downtown Guelph is getting into the festive spirit.

The Spirit of the Season festival is set to take place Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2. It’s a two-day event organized by the Guelph Community Foundation and the Downtown Guelph Business Association.

The event will feature an indoor and outdoor market, a Santa Claus parade and the mayor and council’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Operation and finance director with the Guelph Community Foundation Beth Ann Valente said planning for this event began in the spring.

“There’s been lots of co-operation between the city, Downtown Guelph Business Association, GCF to co-ordinate timing, the marketing efforts, and lots of wonderful volunteer hours to put in,” Valente said.

The outdoor market will be in St. George’s Square with a number of vendors taking part, including the Scented Market, Milk & Co., and the University of Guelph. There will be performances by NorthFIRE Circus on Friday night and the McGregor Carolers on Saturday afternoon.

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The indoor market will be held inside the Old Quebec Street Mall, featuring a number of not-for-profits like The Seed and Community of Hearts. There will be crafts and Cleo the Clown for kids, live painting, musical performances and more.

Valente said there is also a change in the format for the Guelph Community Santa Parade this year.

“They moved to an evening parade (starting at 5:30 p.m.),” Valente said. “There is lots of things that will be lit up and sparkling throughout the parade.”

The parade will end near Market Square, where the tree-lighting ceremony will take place.

Proceeds from the Spirit of the Season festival are going to the Home for Good campaign, an initiative established by the Guelph Community Foundation, the United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin and the Guelph Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination to build permanent supportive housing.

“Most of that campaign for capital has been put in,” Valente said. “They are still fundraising for capital maintenance projects on those properties and new housing solutions.”

More information on the Spirit of the Season festival can be found on its website.

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