Christmas will be a beehive of holiday hustle and bustle in downtown Nanaimo this year thanks to the presence of the new Santa’s Workshop at 43 Commercial Street. The Workshop will be open for the holiday season from November 26 to December 23, 2010. This 2,400-square-foot holiday hub is now adorned with an abundance of beautiful seasonal decorations including Santa’s chair and sleigh, trees, lights, and garland.
“We just couldn’t believe our good fortune when we heard we were not only being offered the space to set up Santa’s Workshop, but also getting more Christmas decorations than we could ever hope for,” says Mark Corbett, marketing and events coordinator with the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association. “We’re all very excited about how Christmas is shaping up downtown.”
To kick off the Christmas season downtown, Santa’s Workshop will officially open to the sound of Christmas carols on Friday, November 26, 2010, from 5 to 9 pm. At 6 pm, the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association will be lighting up a 16-foot-tall Christmas tree on the roof of the Harbourfront Library at the same time as the merchants of the Old City Quarter light up their storefronts for their annual Light Up A Life campaign. Both Santa’s Workshop and the merchants of the Old City Quarter will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items and unwrapped toys that will go to charity.
On Saturday, December 4, 2010, at 10 am, Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive in Nanaimo by air aboard a Harbour Air float plane at the Harbourfront launch. After greeting his many fans, Santa and his entourage will make their way to his new Workshop to do crafts with the kids, share some holiday treats, and check his list twice to see who’s been naughty or nice. At 12:30 pm, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be whisked off to become the main attraction during the Nanaimo Lions’ Santa Parade, which starts at 1 pm and winds itself along Victoria Crescent and Commercial Street. After the parade, the public can meet Santa, sing along with Christmas carolers, and share some hot chocolate on Diana Krall Plaza.
Santa will once again visit his downtown Workshop on both Thursday, December 9 and 16, 2010, from 3 to 7 pm to get photographed with people’s pets (no snakes or spiders please!). He will also be available on Friday, December 10 and 17, 2010, from 5 to 9 pm and Saturday, December 11 and 18, 2010, from noon to 4 pm so those of the human persuasion can also get photos taken with the big guy.
Besides visits from Santa, seasonal shoppers can get their gifts wrapped by donation with proceeds going to charitable organizations. There will be crafts for the kids and a big screen TV to watch holiday movies while sipping hot chocolate and munching on candy canes. When you bring in an unwrapped toy or non-perishable food item, you will receive a valuable merchant’s discount card with some great holiday savings. Starting November 26, 2010, Santa’s Workshop will be open from Tuesday to Saturdays from noon until 7 pm (with Fridays open until 9 pm) until December 23, 2010. For more information on Christmas activities in downtown Nanaimo, call 250-754-8141.