ALAMEDA - Alameda invited the community to come out and have fun during their first-ever Santa Day on Dec. 4.
The day saw kids having pictures taken with Santa at the library, a soup and sandwich lunch served at the church, public skating at Alameda Rink, crafts, a hot dog roast and hot chocolate offered at the library, a Santa parade and the opening of a town-wide Christmas light contest.
Skylar Antoniuk, a person behind the event, said the day went great.
"We had a really good turnout for all of our events," Antoniuk said.
"We had 16 time slots for the Santa photos. And then we did the lunch at the church, which had a really good turnout even with all the restrictions. They managed to sell out of both of their kinds of soup very quickly. And then the cookie decorating, we had a good turnout for that. And a good turnout for skating at the rink. From our little town of 300 people, there was three different age groups of hockey teams away at tournaments that day, and we still managed to have quite a good turnout. That was good. And then the parade, we had 16 floats entered."
The RM of Enniskillen was the winner of the parade.
Antoniuk explained that pieces of the event, such as pictures with Santa and a small parade, had been done last year, but it was the first time they had a day full of activities.
She started working on organizing everything around Halloween, and already in early December people from Alameda and nearby communities could enjoy the holiday festivities.
"It felt like we needed something for the community. We're a very small community… And it was such a nice event last year that was thrown together, just so that parents could still get a picture with Santa in a modified version on the back of the trailer. So I approached the fire department and said, 'Hey, are you going to do this again?' And they're like, 'No, I don't think so because there are no restrictions this year.' And I said, 'Well, I'm going to take that and run with it in a different direction,'" Antoniuk recalled.
She got different groups organized so that the community would have a real start to the holiday season. The fire department marshalled the parade, the church took over lunch, and she took care of cookie decoration at the library and photos with Santa.
"It brought everybody together just to talk to each other on the streets and it didn't feel like we were still in a pandemic anymore," Antoniuk shared.
The Alameda Santa Day also marked the beginning of the Christmas lights contest, another potential town tradition.
"People are just invited to decorate their house, or even just put Christmas lights up in general. And then people are driving around doing a twinkle tour type of thing. And then you can place your vote, either by texting my phone number, or you can drop the address off at the library. And then the first, second and third win a prize. All the prizes have been donated by different businesses around the community to make baskets of stuff to get to the winners," Antoniuk explained.
Her number is 306-485-8676. The voting for the Christmas lights contest closes on Dec. 23, and winners are to be announced on Christmas Eve.
Antoniuk also put together a scavenger hunt to encourage more people to get out, explore the community, look at Christmas lights and vote. The hunt will be published on the Town of Alameda and Alameda Library Facebook pages.
The library will also have a Christmas cupcake decorating class on Dec. 16, and after that, they will shut down for the holidays.