2018 Christmas in the Park ‘bigger, better, brighter’ than ever

December 6, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Baker

The big day is almost upon us.

While most folks in the community have been busy these past few weeks preparing for Christmas Day, one local organization has had the festive season on its mind for several months as the 26th iteration of the popular Christmas in the Park makes its eagerly anticipated return to Orangeville.

Hosted by the Optimist Club of Orangeville, the annual extravaganza transforms Kay Cee Gardens, located between Bythia and John streets, into a “winter wonderland”, jam-packed with various Christmas-themed displays and more than 50,000 bright Christmas lights.

Christmas in the Park will officially get under way tomorrow (Dec. 7) at 6:30 p.m. with a whole host of special activities planned for its grand opening. The park will re-open nightly until Dec. 31, running from 5:30 to 10 p.m.

With dozens of volunteers working hard around the clock in the lead-up to opening night, Christmas in the Park spokesperson Tina Clare noted this year’s offering would be “bigger, better and brighter” than ever before.

“Christmas in the Park is something that Orangeville residents look forward to each and every year, so the Optimist Club is always looking for new ways to innovate and improve what is already a tremendous festive display that encompasses the entire park,” Ms. Clare said. “Some of our members have been working on this since February, so there will be some nice surprises this year.”

Without giving too much away, Ms. Clare confirmed several new attractions will be making their debut this year. Front and centre will be a seven-foot sparkling reindeer, which Optimist members have affectionately called Violet. A new display featuring Santa Claus in a kayak has been strategically placed beside Mill Creek, while fans of Dr. Seuss can look forward to a special treat.

“Look out for the Who’s in Whoville,” Ms. Clare exclaimed. “We’ve put together a cool little village of sorts. We expect it will be popular, especially amongst the children.”

While the Optimists today serve as stewards of Christmas in the Park, the event was actually pioneered by the Orangeville and District Seniors Centre in 1993, with the Optimists adopting it in 1996. Over the past 22 years, the group has worked hand in hand with various community volunteers and sponsors to make one of Orangeville’s premiere festive events everything it is today.

A regular visitor to Kay Cee Gardens during Christmas in the Park, Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones said she is looking forward to seeing what the Optimists have planned this year, while commending the group for the “countless hours” they spend transforming the 2.6-acre park into Orangeville’s very own Christmas wonderland.

“Christmas in the Park transforms Kay Cee Gardens into a wonderful place that helps to bring the spirit of Christmas to our community,” Ms. Jones said. “I would like to thank the members of the Optimist Club of Orangeville and the many volunteers who spend countless hours organizing, arranging and setting up the displays. It is because of the efforts of volunteers, service clubs and our community leaders that Christmas in the Park has become a tradition for many families.”

With opening night now just 24 hours away, Ms. Clare was keen to remind the public of what Christmas in the Park has to offer this year. Attendees will be treated to complimentary hot chocolate, served by the Third Orangeville Scouts, Fourth Orangeville Scouts and the Journey Church Youth Choir from Dec. 7 to Dec. 25. Tomorrow, the Theatre Orangeville Youth Singers (TOYS) will kick things off with a performance at 6:50 p.m. Fresh from his inauguration on Monday evening, Orangeville Mayor Sandy Brown will be joined by Dufferin-Caledon MP David Tilson in greeting those in attendance.

At 7:15 p.m. the countdown will begin as the 50,000-plus Christmas lights in the park will be turned on, while Theatre Orangeville’s Creative Director David Nairn will return to provide a reading of ‘Twas the Night before Christmas at 7:20 p.m. At 7:30  there will be a performance from the Orangeville Show Chorus, with the Orangeville Music Theatre set to follow at 7:45 p.m.

While the focus right now is on opening night, Ms. Clare noted there’s lots going on all month long at Christmas in the Park. Santa Claus himself will welcome visitors to the pergola inside Kay Cee Gardens every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. As Christmas approaches, Santa Claus will be available nightly from Dec. 18 until the big day.

The popular Peruvian alpacas will be on show near the main entrance off Bythia Street on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There are several musical performances planned, with the Journey Youth Choir performing on Dec. 9 and 16 and the Bassically Sound Quartet performing on Dec. 18. The Westminster United Church Choir are penciled in to perform on Dec. 20.

“Christmas in the Park is a nice celebration of the holiday season that can be appreciated by people young and old,” Ms. Clare said. “There’s no better time of year than Christmas, and we’re excited to welcome thousands of people through the gates at Kay Cee Gardens for another festive spectacle in 2018.”

For more information on Orangeville’s Christmas in the Park, visit

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