It’s amazing to think that we’re almost at the end of 2020 – and as we hear from so many, thank goodness! We’ve always had mileposts throughout a year to give us perspective of the passing of time as well as to prepare us for upcoming events. This year we have had one overbearing marker of time that has been the main topic of all of our conversations, as well as all TV and news coverage. While we’ve all had our own personal experiences, inconveniences, and losses during this pandemic, we have to keep in mind the modifications businesses have had to make in order to keep providing us what we need and to keep them afloat.
I want to take this opportunity to highlight some of the efforts made in our community by residents, volunteers, businesses, and Township staff to bring some comfort and joy to our lives. I am impressed by the creativity of our food service providers, with the variety of options for pre-made, pickup, or make at home meal kits. We have just come through a big weekend. What we have known for 23 years as the North Dundas Parade of Lights, this year was renamed the North Dundas Display of Lights. While it would have been easy to cancel the event due to our unusual circumstances, we are lucky that we have a group that was able to navigate their way through many roadblocks.
Our small but mighty parade committee of Sandy Burns, Brianne Scott and Matthew Roy were able to work closely with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to put on a fantastic event that was enjoyed by families from all over our area. The generosity of Hunter McQaig and his staff at Rideau Auctions made their vision of a safe drive by event come true. It will be interesting to see what next year brings when we will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the North Dundas Parade of Lights – the brainchild of a forward thinker and leader in our community, Joel Steele. He would be very proud that the group was able to keep it going!
A more recent addition to the parade day is Fries for Charity. Once again, the fries were awesome! Another small but well organized group of volunteers makes this happen each year. Kudos to the Winchester Downtown Revitalization Committee, they collected donations in exchange for a box of fries. This year, it was decided that the funds would go to the two young ladies who were recently burned in a tragic incident.
We certainly hope that you have noticed the lights at various buildings and venues throughout our Township. The Township Staff has been busy putting up 100’s of strings of lights to bring some holiday cheer to our community. As an initiative to encourage residents and businesses to join in on the cheer, we have created a Light Up North Dundas Holiday Tour event. The Tour aims to celebrate the holiday season by encouraging homes, businesses, and organizations to create a display of lights and register as a participating location on the road map. Registered sites will be judged and prizes will be awarded. We are especially excited about the Community Choice Award, which is a gift basket of donations from local businesses, as organized by Cheryl Beasley of Simply Baked in Winchester. Whether you have a major light display, or a couple of strings up that make you smile, share it with us! For detailed information, please visit the North Dundas Facebook page or website.
As we near the end of 2020, and most certainly look forward to a better year ahead, I reflect on the strength of our community and the frequent examples of how we support each other. This is one of the most challenging times for so many of us and, while we may tire of hearing that we’re in this together, the fact is that we are. Please make the best of this holiday season; I recognize that it will be very different, but let’s all do our best to enjoy the simpler things in life, whether it be virtual hugs, Christmas cheer via Zoom, or a simple phone call to wish someone health and happiness for 2021. Merry Christmas and take care!
Mayor Tony Fraser