Kawartha Lakes Festival of Trees
by Festival Nomad "Scoop" Correspondent, Judi McWilliams
Although we've been to Kawartha Settlers' Village in Bobcaygeon in the past and travelled back in time there, we've never seen the Village in the "wintertime". The day was "crisp", but the snow hadn't fallen yet. As soon as we walked through the Village's entrance, we were transported into a magical time and immediately caught the spirit of the season! The Village is arranged in such a way that allows visitors to discover each building and its attractions at their own pace. Our first stop was the Boyd Carriage House. The house was filled with Christmas decorations and goodies, and, of course, Christmas trees. As we toured each of the Village's buildings, we were surrounded by hundreds of unique decorations. Many of the buildings contained volunteers who greeted each visitor who entered. As suggest by the name of the event, each building features well decorated Christmas trees, each with its own unique style. As we explored the Village, we experienced the excitement of the visiting children. Santa could be found in the Drive Shed, holding court with his elves. Toys decorated the shed as children lined up to tell Santa of their greatest wishes. At one point Santa had left the Shed to take a "cookie" break and was walking about the Village. I was able to ask Santa if I could have my picture taken with him. This was another of my "Handsome Man Photo Ops", a great way to end the season! With Santa back in the Shed, children started to line up for a "secret" conversation with him. It was difficult not to join in on all the fun for more photo opportunities. The biggest challenge was timing, waiting for the little kids to move, so that I could jump in for a spot in the line! Across from the Shed, "Carollers" were standing on the porch of the Henderson House singing to the joy of on-looking visitors. Their music was lively and added greatly to the spirit of the day! Inside the Henderson House tables were set up for tea and treats. This was were visitors could relax and warm themselves. Outside, a horse drawn wagon rounded a corner full of passengers, these enthusiastic riders had just enjoyed the Village in comfort. Our final Village journey took us to the Village stores. People were crowded in them, searching for that "Special Christmas Gift" for a loved one. Gary and I left the Village, warmed with the "inner peace and joy that the Spirit of Christmas brings".