COMMENT: Stittsville’s community spirit rises in 2020

The holidays are a time to reflect and look back on the year that was. We spend time with our loved ones, share the annual feast and find joy in giving to others. Albeit, Grinch stealing Christmas is a palpable theme this year. This holiday season may not be like those of the past, but with the kindness shown to one another, love and the spirit in our community, we will get through this.

Stittsville has always been a community filled with Christmas spirit – going to great lengths to celebrate and spread happiness. From the Parade of Lights, Santa’s visit, decorated homes and businesses, to the lighting of Village Square Park, residents have shown their love and care for others and our community. With restrictions in place, many events were cancelled this year, but with the determination of dedicated volunteers, there were new ones introduced, some took a different twist and others became virtual. In any variety, they were for all to enjoy.

Stittsville Parade of Lights 2017. Photo by Barry Gray

Earlier in the year, the community was blown away with the success of the Stittsville Front Porch Concert Series. A single idea that Sarah Blakely shared with us in June and wondered if it would fly. It didn’t fly, it soared on July 9. The true musical spirit of Stittsville came to the forefront with so many musicians participating – an event that everyone needed at just that point in time to bring joy to our lives. Thank you Sarah for organizing and sharing the music of Stittsville – we look forward to it again in 2021! The event was also a success for the Crossroads Children’s Mental Health Centre as they received $5,983.90 in donations from our community to support young people.

Then came December and the epic Griswold Christmas Vacation. Spurred from family Christmas displays of the past, young Kennedy Turcotte wanted a bigger display. She pressed for the 2020 theme of Christmas Vacation. For a year the Turcotte family planned for the front-yard display – finding the perfect car and RV, including the perfect tree, root ball and all. The display has been a roaring success with neighbours, visitors and media coming from far and wide, but especially for the Stittsville Food Bank. At last count, approximately $20K has been raised! The community can’t thank you enough Shawn, Chantelle, Hudson and Kennedy for your hilarious antics and sharing them with everyone. The timing was just the craze needed to bring much fun and cheerfulness to Stittsville!

Not only all year long, but during the holidays, everyone from our service organizations, businesses, clubs and sports teams, give back by volunteering their time and energy to show community spirit. Local Stittsville businesses have encouraged everyone to shop local so they will still be here to continue to support and serve you when these days of uncertainty have passed.

Yes, this year will see the Holidays being celebrated differently, and difficult for some, but the end goal is to ensure we are all here to celebrate bigger and better with our family, friends and neighbours in 2021.

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkuh!


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