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Found 130 results

  1. Santa Claus Parade draws thousands in Toronto November 19,2017 by VICTORIA GIBSON - Toronto Star Excerpt - In the last few minutes before floats and trumpets soared down Bloor St. for Toronto’s 113th Santa Claus Parade, 4-year-old Keegan Cao meticulously took to the parade route with a single piece of blue chalk. “This is my mom, and that is me, that’s a truck,” Keegan explained, pointing to the scrawled image across a crack in the pavement. He was ready to see many “trucks” — floats, to be precise — in the parade. But the big draw was the big man himself. Santa Claus was coming to town. “He has Rudolphs!” Keegan chirped. His mom asked him if he knew where Santa was coming from. “North,” he said. She kissed his cheek, and they turned back to preparing for the parade to start. From the early hours of Sunday morning, thousands of Torontonians hunkered down on curbs, church steps, restaurant stoops and rooftops. The parade went nearly without a hitch, save for a suspicious package — which turned out to be a bag — that halted the event for a few minutes at Queen St. W. and University Ave. while Toronto police checked it. The magic for kids in the crowd came with careful crafting. As Santa breezed by, on a 42-foot float that ranks as the largest the parade has ever built, a man in a black hat on the pavement nipped in and out of the crowd, asking parents for their kids’ names. He’d call them, discreetly, up to Santa’s throne. Then — jolly and boisterous — Santa would call the names of kids below to their consistent delight. At one point, a gust of wind nearly whisked his hat onto the street. “Oh! The wind is picking up!” he told the crowd, in a moment of surprise before returning to character. “On Christmas Eve I’ll see you,” he told a gaggle of waving toddlers. “But you won’t see me!” SOURCE:
  2. Santa's Parade of Lights takes festive path down Jasper Ave November 19, 2017 by CATHERINE GRIWKOWSKY - Edmonton Journal Excerpt - Construction in the city centre didn’t keep crowds away from Santa’s Parade of Lights on Saturday. Rather than winding downtown, the parade took a straight route down Jasper Avenue. The tens of thousands lining the route mostly were excited for the man himself, Santa, to come down the street in a one-horse open sleigh. In their letter to Santa, Lexus wished for a toy horse and Teegan asked for “Maui”, a character from Disney’s Moana. “He writes back every year,” Lexus exclaimed. Volunteer Annette War was volunteering for the second year and, with hot chocolate in hand, was making sure letters got to Santa. “I’m excited about this one,” she said. SOURCE:
  3. Santa Claus is busted with a crack pipe November 15, 2017 by Rod Waugh - Metro UK Excerpt - In news that may dismay millions of children, a rosy-cheeked Santa Claus was busted with a crack pipe, along with empty bags of crack and heroin and a syringe. It’s the naughty list for you! The ‘bad Santa’, Charles Smith, 66, was actually in his Santa suit when he was pulled over by police on Route 46 in New Jersey, who found the alarming drug paraphernalia. Smith worked for Bergen County Toys for Tots, and spokesman Brian Murray said he is ‘no longer welcome back’. Murray said, ‘Once this came to light, he was fired. Contributor note*** This is same Santa and story posted earlier, just an update. SOURCE
  4. A $70,900 grant was given to Santa Claus Inc. to help kids in need throughout San Bernardino County November 14, 2017 by Highland Community News Excerpt - Santa Claus Inc. (SCI) is grateful to their partners at San Manuel Band of Mission Indians (San Manuel) for a generous grant. On Oct. 11, Faun White, who is the Program Officer of Education for the San Manuel Tribe, presented a $70,900 contribution to Tracylyn Sharrit, the Director of Development for SCI. The funds will support the mission of SCI, which is, “To provide critical services to youth in the Inland Empire by empowering families through year-round and seasonal programs.” Basic needs required by children in San Bernardino County continue to grow. In response to the increasing demand for services, SCI’s goal is to serve an estimated 120,000 children by the end of 2017 – an increase of 500% since 2012. The $70,900 from San Manuel is vital to ensure that SCI has the financial means to deliver on their mission and promise to meet their goals. **** SCI has been distributing hope through vital services to children since 1952. Children are served by referral from qualified partners throughout the Inland Empire: school districts, nonprofits, hospitals, law enforcement, and social service agencies within San Bernardino County. Referred children experiencing poverty imposed barriers are helped year-round. YES! programs provide free access to school supplies, clothing, shoes, hygiene items, bedding, emergency shelter, and much more. Christmas Distribution provides books, clothing, and toys to the meet the needs of impoverished youth. SOURCE:
  5. Santa Claus to meet special needs kids

    Santa Claus to meet special needs kids November 13, 2017 by wkbw staff Excerpt- CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WKBW) - Santa is setting aside time to meet with special needs kids! On Sunday, November 19th and Sunday December 3rd, Santa Claus will be at the Walden Galleria for the annual Santa Cares event. The event provides time for families with sensory concerns to visit St. Nick without the hustle and bustle of the holiday season during regular business hours. Cherry Hill Programs, who manage Santa's set, partners with Autism Speaks, Ability Path and Hasboro to create comfortable moments for guests with special needs. SOURCE:
  6. Sharing the Christmas season for half a century November 8, 2017 By Tim Meeks - Trentonian Excerpt - BELLEVILLE, Ontario - The spirit of Christmas is alive and well on the second floor of Century Village. And it’s all made possible by the incredible generosity of the residents of the Friendly City, says Pam Smith, co-ordinator for the Christmas Sharing Program. “The Christmas Sharing Program exists due to the generosity of this community and the need for this program is substantial and continues to grow on an annual basis,” said Smith. Now in its 50th year, the Christmas Sharing Program began helping Belleville families in need in 1967 when 354 families were assisted. Fast forward to last year and more than 1,300 families and individuals were registered for help. **** In addition to applying for a nutritious hamper of food, applicants with children under the age of 10 can also register their children for the Belleville Fire Fighters Toy Drive. As well, the Christmas Sharing office registers and helps to sponsor those who want to attend the Community Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day. This dinner is generously hosted by the Salvation Army and staffed by volunteers. Meals are also delivered to folks who are unable to attend the dinner due to health issues. And rides are available for anyone wanting to attend the dinner in the City of Belleville. “Last year we served 106 people at the Christmas dinner and also delivered 60 meals to shut-ins and people who couldn’t attend,” Smith said. SOURCE:
  7. Retiree who portrays Santa Claus now facing drug charges November 7, 2017 by WPXI.com Excerpt - SOUTH HACKENSACK, N.J. - A retiree who volunteers as a Santa Claus is facing drug charges alleging police found a crack pipe in his vehicle during a New Jersey traffic stop. South Hackensack police say 66-year-old Charles Smith, of Pompton Lakes, was arrested Monday after a traffic stop on Route 46. They say an officer saw the crack pipe next to a Santa Claus costume. Authorities say a subsequent search of the vehicle turned up more drug paraphernalia, including empty bags of crack and heroin alongside a hypodermic needle. SOURCE:
  8. Santa Claus is coming to (Old) town

    Santa Claus is coming to (Old) town November 8, 2017 by Erin Udell - The Coloradoan Excerpt - He's making a list. He's checking it twice. And he's coming to Fort Collins this month. Santa Claus will ride into Old Town and his Old Town Square workshop will be open on various days through Christmas Eve. His grand entrance into Old Town will be at noon on Nov. 18. He and his musical elves will arrive by horse-drawn carriage to the corner of Walnut and Linden streets. The public is welcomed to greet him at the event. Holiday costumes are encouraged. Visiting Santa at his Old Town Square workshop is free throughout the holiday season. Professional photos are optional and cost a fee. Santa is multilingual and knows sign language SOURCE:
  9. Garden City ‘Santa’ arrested, charged with child molestation FOX4KC November 6, 2017 by Megan Dillard EXCERPT: He was trusted by many and is part of many holiday memories for families in Garden City, Mo. Because the town population is less than 2,000 people, Garden City Chief of Police Thomas Alber said there's a real possibility 36-year-old Anthony Hall has come into contact with many children in the town. Officers arrested Hall Monday morning at his job at Auto Zone in Harrisonville. He's charged with child molestation. The victim is a six-year-old girl. Hall is known for dressing up like Santa Claus around the holidays and can be seen in photos on social media, even in a 2014 Christmas picture on the police department's Facebook page. Chief Alber said, "People with these tendencies gravitate toward areas where children are accessible and available. They’re tough cases; they’re cases that hit many people right in the heart." Investigators said when the girl told her mother, she told the victim not to tell and continued living in the same home as Hall. Court documents said both Hall and the victim's mother denied everything at first but changed their stories after they were shown illustrations the girl gave investigators. Chief Alber said besides the police department, other investigating agencies are involved, like the Missouri Department of Social Services. He said, "Children go through special interviews with specially trained forensic investigators." The chief said working the case took months, but Hall's arrest was timely. "Especially being the beginning of November where people would begin to book Christmas parties that might be employing this individual and allowing him access to more children," Alber said. With four daughters of his own, Chief Alber said he's glad a man facing these types of charges is off the streets. "When the child’s a victim, it’s especially difficult," Chief Alber said. "We take a great deal of time and care in investigating these cases." Hall admitted to investigators he's been accused in the past of inappropriate sexual contact with each of his own three children. SOURCE: http://fox4kc.com/2017/11/06/garden-city-santa-arrested-charged-with-child-molestation/ ### This is what we don't need! Every year we seem to get this and it does get old, I know what I would like to do to this guy! http://fox4kc.com/2017/11/06/garden-city-santa-arrested-charged-with-child-molestation/
  10. Hier lernen Weihnachtsmann & Co. (Here Learns Santa Claus & Co.) November 6, 2017 by BILD Translated via Google. Celle - In just over seven weeks time has come: Christmas! Clear that then the famous beard bearer may not be missing. But to be Santa Claus is really not child's play ... For a convincing performance at the Christmas market or on Christmas Eve, it takes more than a red costume and a sticky beard. Willi Dahmen (65) teaches participants how to behave properly as Santa Claus in his seminars. In Celle he dedicated 27 men and women from all over Europe to the high Christmas art. In the seminars, the participants learn that they are never allowed to drink or make phone calls in their missions. Dahmen also says how to behave in different families. Very important: the right costume! Thin felt, cotton wool? For a 5-euro wardrobe, there's the rod! Correct: red wool or velvet coat, beard at least of fine synthetic hair, white gloves, boots - never sneakers! SOURCE:(in German)
  11. The Original Santa Claus Parade brings wonder and joy to everyone November 2, 2017 Press Release -The Santa Claus Parade Press release: TORONTO, Nov. 2, 2017 /CNW/ - Today at his secret workshop, Santa Claus himself announced the exciting details of The Original Santa Claus Parade, including a new logo celebrating the parade's unique position as the first Santa Claus Parade in Canada. This year the parade will feature 25 floats and 21 marching bands, including a float celebrating Canada's appearance in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, Other floats will feature the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors, as part of the continuing partnership with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. "All the world is happy when Santa Claus arrives," said Peter Beresford, Santa Claus Parade President and CEO. "We are excited to be celebrating the magic and happiness that Santa brings to the City of Toronto." This year's Parade will take place on Sunday, November 19 at 12:30 p.m., when children of all ages will line the streets waiting for a chance to see the jolly old elf himself. Now, in its fifth year, the Holly Jolly Fun Run, a 5km run, will kick off the parade starting at 11:45 a.m.on parade day. Last year there were over one thousand runners in attendance. The run will follow the Parade route and end at Maple Leaf Square. All proceeds raised will support the Santa Claus Parade. "I am so excited to see all the smiling faces along the parade route," said Santa Claus, who flew into town from the North Pole to offer a preview of this year's magic. "The parade celebrates this amazing season and brings happiness to everyone involved, from volunteers to celebrity clowns, but especially to the spectators. It's what the holidays are all about." The Parade starts at Bloor and Christie Streets; travels along Bloor Street to University Avenue, travel south on University Avenue to Wellington Street, then travels east on Wellington. This year the parade will head south on Yonge Street before heading east on Front Street, finally ending at the intersection of Front and Jarvis Streets at the St. Lawrence Market. The Original Santa Claus Parade airs Sunday, November 19 at 4:30 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and 5:30 p.m. AT on CTV and CTV GO. About the Santa Claus Parade The Santa Claus Parade is the largest children's parade in North America and the largest outdoor entertainment event held in Canadaevery year. More information on the Parade at thesantaclausparade.com About the Santa's Elves This year, a very special group of companies have stepped forward to make a long-term commitment and a substantial financial investment to ensure the Parade continues to bring smiles for years to come. Santa's Elves: McDonalds Canadian Tire Metro RBC CIBC Scotia Bank TD BMO Indigo MLSE SOURCE
  12. Christmas in the metro

    Christmas in the metro November 4, 2017 By: Ana Roa, Kathleen de Villa - Philippine Daily Inquirer Excerpt - Filipinos are big on Christmas. It’s probably one of the most celebrated holidays that kick off as early as September or, in local parlance, the so-called “-ber months.” Now that the Halloween decors are out, expect to see more of the bright, flashy lights, the colorful displays of tinsel, garlands, and the traditional parol (lanterns), as well as the “belen” and the Santas of varying shapes and sizes—all of which make for a highly festive atmosphere that Philippine Christmas celebrations are widely known for. Over the years, some areas—be it a household or a mall—have become crowd favorites given their plush, ornate holiday displays, which have since provided sightseers the perfect Instagram post. **** Policarpio Street, Mandaluyong The 700-meter street in Mandaluyong City has become an attraction every Christmas for its dazzling display of holiday decor using lights, lanterns, Santa figures and a majestic “belen” (Nativity scene). Rockwell Complex The lit silhouettes of Rockwell buildings have welcomed every Rockwell resident and traffic-weary motorists every Christmas as the lights have been a signature image during holidays. Ayala Triangle Gardens The 20,000-sqm garden becomes the venue of the annual lights-and-sounds show dubbed “Festival of Lights” every Chrismtas season. Miniature “Christmas village” Fashion businessman and landscape artist Rene Tiongco sets up in his house in Malate, Manila every December a miniature “Christmas village.” The village is complete with snow-covered hills, quaint houses, children building snowmen and a choir tirelessly belting out “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” in the town square. SOURCE
  13. What’s in the Santa Claus Fund box?

    What’s in the Santa Claus Fund box? November 4, 2017 By FATIMA SYED - Toronto Sun Staff Reporter Excerpt - For 45,000 underprivileged children in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Ajax and Pickering, the Star’s Santa Claus Fund gift boxes are joy wrapped up — and the only present many of them will receive this holiday season. The contents — which are age-specific and gender neutral — are classic holiday gifts: books, toys, warm clothes, cookies, to name a few. The gifts are chosen with care, to meet children’s basic needs and so much more. Like last year, our goal this year is to raise $1.7 million, with 100 per cent of your donations funding the contents of the gift boxes. It’s been this way since 1906, when the fund first provided gifts to more than 350 children in Toronto. **** Clothing Every child aged 5 to 12 gets a warm shirt that is manufactured locally and is designed specifically for the Santa Fund Outdoor gear Some of the families receiving the gift boxes are new immigrants or refugees experiencing their first Canadian winter, unprepared for just how cold it can get, and how quickly. Cookiesr Three kinds of cookies come in the boxes this year — coconut flavoured, teddy bears (chocolate or honey) and digestive biscuits. A toy The toy for each age is carefully selected to reflect the child’s abilities and interests. Toothbrush and toothpaste Children aged 4 to 12 receive these — an essential need for a child’s growth and development. Socks You can never have too many pairs of warm socks during a cold Canadian winter. Books The joy of reading comes in every box. The box Manufactured in Toronto, the gift boxes themselves exude the holiday spirit. This year they feature snowmen, reindeers and penguins. Many children love to keep their treasures in the boxes for years to come. SOURCE:
  14. Santa Claus Indiana Selects 2017 Special Postmark For Holiday Season November 3, 2017 by WBIW.com Excerpt - (SANTA CLAUS) - The Santa Claus, Indiana, Post Office has selected the 2017 special picture postmark for the upcoming holiday season. On Friday, December 1, the post office will begin offering the picture postmark to cancel the postage stamps on holiday mail again this year. This famous small-town post office is the only one in the world with the Santa Claus name and receives over 400,000 pieces of mail in December - compared to only 13,000 pieces of mail per month the rest of the year. This special picture postmark has been offered every Christmas season since 1983. Each year, the holiday postmark is designed by a local high school art student as part of an annual contest. **** Santa Claus, Indiana, will host a celebration of family fun on the first three weekends of December. Santa Claus Christmas Celebration events include Chestnut Roasting, Christmas Dinner with Santa, Writing a Letter to Santa, and more each weekend. In addition, special events include Dancer's Dash 5K on December 2, Santa Claus Arts & Crafts Show and Santa Claus Parade on December 9, and the Christmas Lake Village Festival of Lights on December 9 and 16. SOURCE:
  15. Christmas helpers attend Santa school in Midland October 27, 2017 by wnem.com Excerpt - Santa needs some help before the big day. His helpers are training right now in Midland as the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School celebrates its 80th year. Santas from all over the country have come to Mid-Michigan to hone in on their skills. Although it's still October, it's never too early to start your training as Santas helper. “It's just the feeling you get as you're gearing up near the end of October. It just really gets you to be in the spirit to be ready and excited about Christmas,” said Sherry Jones, Mrs. Claus’s helper. At the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School, looking the part of Santa is very important - right down to the makeup, hair, and outfits. “It's the blush and the red you don't want to overdo it. Cause like they said if you overdo it, it doesn't look real. You want to be as realistic as possible,” said Greg Puskar, one of Santa’s helpers. Some are newcomers and others have been doing it for a few years, but the jolly feeling they get as Santa’s representatives never gets old. At the North Pole, or anywhere, how they treat the children is key. “I think it's really important and visiting with the children and interacting with the families you have that spirit because if you don't if they can't see you really enjoy and love what you're doing then they're not going to walk away feeling they really did see Santa Clause and Mrs. Clause,” Jones said. Becoming a Santa is not easy and that's why the three-day program well equips these people to give them all the tricks of the trade. SOURCE:
  16. The World's Largest Christmas Lights Display Is Coming To Vancouver Next Month October 27, 2017 by Dora Leung -NARCITY Excerpt: Last year, the world's biggest Christmas lights display wasEnchant. With over 55,000 square footage of dazzling lights and holiday cheer, Vancouver didn't think it could get any bigger. But my dear Vancouverites, you thought wrong. This year, Glow is hosting a Christmas display that's going to be bigger and better than EVER! We will be getting 103,000 sq. ft. of beautiful Christmas lights, with over 500,000 twinkling bulbs and Christmas spirit that's overflowing. This magical winter wonderland will feature four Christmas-themed light gardens and a 210 ft. long musical light tunnel where you can experience the warmth and wonder of the holiday season. Not only that, but they will also be hosting food trucks to fill your tummies, a bar to get your seasonal glüwhein (of course), and an entire Christmas market with over 40 vendors! The best part, it's going to be indoors! So regardless of Vancouver's emotional weather forecast (talk about rainy winters 🙄), you'll still be able to experience Christmas cheer to the fullest without having to worry about fumbling around with an umbrella. SOURCE:
  17. Smokey Robinson Preps First Solo Christmas Album October 27, 2017 by Elias Leight - Rolling Stone Excerpt - Smokey Robinson plans to release a new album, Christmas Everyday, as an Amazon exclusive on November 10th. The LP contains three originals from the Motown stalwart: "Christmas Everyday," which first appeared on the Christmas With the Miracles album in 1963, "The Night That Baby Was Born" and "You're My Present." Robinson will also tackle standards like Charles Brown's "Please Come Home for Christmas" and Donny Hathaway's "This Christmas." "I love the feeling of Christmas, what I call 'the Christmas aura,' and these are some of my absolute favorite songs," Robinson said in a statement. "Folks are going to be surprised by some of the arrangements." Robinson is a veteran of Christmas records. In addition to releasing a pair of holiday albums with the Miracles, he also contributed four tracks to the 1973 compilation A Motown Christmas. Christmas Everyday marks the singer/songwriter/producer's first solo foray into Christmas fare. Listeners can pre-order Christmas Everyday on Amazon. Christmas Everyday Track List 1. "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (feat. Trombone Shorty) 2. "This Christmas" 3. "The Christmas Song" 4. "White Christmas" 5. "Silent Night" (feat. Mindi Abair) 6. "The Night That Baby was Born" 7. "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)" 8. "Christmas Everyday" (feat. Us The Duo) 9. "You’re My Present" (feat. The Dap Kings) 10. "O' Holy Night" (feat. Take 6) SOURCE:
  18. Air Force plays Grinch, briefly denies the existence of Santa Claus October 25, 2017 by Laura Koran - CNN Excerpt: (CNN)The US Air Force shattered the magic of Christmas for millions of children Wednesday by publicly denying the existence of Santa Claus on its official Twitter account, before eventually retracting the controversial statement. A full two months ahead of the winter holiday, the Air Force invoked Santa Claus -- a magical figure who runs a toy factory from the North Pole -- in an attempt to mediate a Twitter feud between two of its bases. Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota had been trading barbs over the merits of their respective fleets when the official Air Force Twitter account stepped in with a stern warning. "We didn't want to have to do this, but if you 2 can't get along we must...Santa will bring you nothing this year...becuase [sic] he isn't real!" the Air Force tweeted. **** Several US government agencies have previously acknowledged the existence of Santa, including the Department of Transportation, which approves his flight plans. In 2013, a spokeswoman for the State Department reassured journalists that Santa has a visa waiver in the United States, allowing him to visit the country every year without issue. The US Postal Service has similarly acknowledged Santa's existence and has been delivering letters to him for over 100 years. And while the current commander in chief, President Donald Trump, has yet to weigh in on the Santa issue, he has been vocal in his support for the Christmas holiday, urging people to reject the "happy holidays" greeting in favor of saying "merry Christmas." SOURCE: FOLLOW UP....by NY Daily News Excerpt... The follow-up tweet is referencing the Air Force’s annual tradition of tracking Santa and his gift drop-offs on Christmas Eve. The tradition dates to 1948, when communication from the Air Force claimed an “early warning radar net to the north” had detected “one unidentified sleigh, powered by eight reindeer, at 14,000 feet (4,300 meters), heading 180 degrees.” The memo made its way into the hands Associate Press Reporters, who played along and ultimately sparked the decades-old Christmas tradition, The Hill reported. NORAD or the North American Aerospace Defense Command is behind the fun, and it relies on satellites, radar and fighter jets to follow Santa on his magical journey. SOURCE:
  19. Canadian tree farmers gift hundreds of Christmas trees to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico October 24, 2017 by CTVNews.ca Staff Excerpt - As Puerto Rico continues to grapple with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria, Nova Scotian Christmas tree farmers are hoping an old tradition will help inspire hope and optimism among those reeling from the damage. Scott MacKinnon has been sending Christmas trees to Puerto Rico for 15 years – a ritual he was sure would come to an end after Hurricane Maria hit the island in late September. The hurricane left Puerto Rico almost entirely in the dark, ravaging power lines, cellphone towers, roads, and ports in its wake. “After the hurricane we hadn’t heard from our customer,’ MacKinnon told CTV Atlantic. “We kind of thought that was it, like there’s no power, they won’t be ordering trees. So we just kind of put it in the back of our mind.” **** The trees were transported from St. Andrews, N.S., to Halifax on Tuesday. They’re expected to arrive in Puerto Rico on Nov. 13 – just in time for American Thanksgiving. “They have a long history of trees in Puerto Rico,” MacKinnon said. “They love Christmas and the ceremony around it and the tree being the central part of it.” Gifting Christmas trees internationally is not unbeknown to Nova Scotia. For decades, the province has been sending a Christmas tree to Boston as a thank-you for the city’s help during the Halifax Explosion in 1917. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the disaster. SOURCE:
  20. Anthem Outlets kick off holiday season with arrival of giant tree October 24, 2017 By azfamily.com News Staff Excerpt - ANTHEM, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -Anthem is gearing up for the upcoming holiday season with the arrival of its giant Christmas tree! For the 16th consecutive year, the Outlets at Anthem placed the state’s largest fresh cut Christmas tree in its place of honor. The tree was delivered on an enormous flatbed truck and then was hoisted into place with a heavy-duty construction crane. Santa Claus and carolers were on hand to bring a festive feel to the tree delivery. This year's tree is 80 feet tall, about 22 feet wide and weighs 3 tons. It will weigh 4 tons when it's all decorated. Decorations will include about 10,000 bulbs, 5,000 ornaments and bows. The tree-lighting ceremony will take place Saturday, Nov. 18. SOURCE
  21. Vancouver Santa Claus Parade back on with new sponsor October 24, 2017 by CTV Vancouver Excerpt - After months of uncertainty, a major telecommunications company has stepped in to make sure this year’s Vancouver Santa Claus Parade is a go. Earlier this month, organizers said the parade wouldn’t be coming to town unless they could fill a $150,000 hole left in their budget after one of its biggest sponsors pulled out. “When TELUS learned the parade was at risk of cancellation and in need of a presenting sponsor, the company stepped up to cover the shortfall, ensuring that the parade will go on,” the parade society said in a statement Tuesday. **** The cost of staging the parade is about $400,000, which a number of other sponsors, including Toys "R" Us and the Fairmont Hotel, help pay for. Since it started, the event has raised a total of $157,000 for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank and helped collect 35,000 kilograms of food. This year’s parade will begin at 12 p.m. on Dec. 3. The route starts in the West End and moves towards downtown along West Georgia Street before turning down Howe Street at the Vancouver Art Gallery. The parade has been drawing tens of thousands of families to downtown Vancouver for the past 13 years. SOURCE:
  22. The picturesque town that will pay you to move there October 21, 2017 by New Zealand Herald Excerpt - You wouldn't think the charming medieval Italian town of Candela would have a problem attracting people, but the mayor is offering up cash and tax incentives in a bid to get people to move there. Once a buzzing hub of more than 8000 residents and known to tourists as "Little Naples", the town's population is now dwindling. It currently stands at just 2700 residents. To recover the town's lost grandeur, mayor Nicola Gatta is offering up to 2000 euros ($3,387) to encourage people - including foreigners - to relocate, CNN Travel reports. **** "Up until the 1960s, travellers called it 'Nap'licchie' (Little Naples), for it streets full of wayfarers, tourists, merchants and screaming vendors." Now, the maze of winding picturesque alleys, Baroque buildings and arched passageways is all but a ghost town. Many young people who once called Candela home have fled the village in search of a brighter future elsewhere, leaving behind an ageing population. The mass exodus of Italy's smaller historic towns has been a matter of national concern for decades. Many people emigrated to these villages in the post-war years but since then, a combination of ageing populations, economic squeeze and lack of opportunities has seen an exodus from the countryside to the cities. **** The biggest attraction being the House of Santa Clause which tells the story the inspiration behind Saint Nicholas, whose remains are believed to be entombed in the nearby town of Bari. Mr Gatta's council pays actors dressed as Santa Claus and his elves to take over a 1600s three-storey building for an entire month. SOURCE:
  23. Santa Claus to skip Whitehorse this year unless funding found October 20, 2017 by Lori Fox - Yukon News Excerpt - Barring a Christmas miracle, Good Saint Nick will be skipping his annual stop at the Whitehorse Santa Claus parade this year. Unless money comes through, the parade will be cancelled, said Dean Tower, the president of Unlikely Events Yukon (UEY), the non-profit group that puts it on. UEY has been putting on the parade since 1994 and usually gets the majority of its funding for the event through the arts fund, which is managed by the Department of Tourism and Culture. This year the group did not get funding, Tower said. **** UEY officials received a letter from the Department of Tourism and Culture at the end of August, informing them that the parade would not be receiving arts fund money this year. They were instructed to apply again in September, which they did, Tower said. But the money wouldn’t be available until December, too late for the parade, which usually takes place the last week of November or the first week of December, he said. UEY met with Mayor Dan Curtis Oct. 12, to ask for more funding. “We were told no,” said Tower. **** Tower said UEY had submitted all the proper paperwork, and didn’t understand what was different about their original application. “That was curious,” he said. “We provided all the same information we have in previous years.” Parker said there might be other funding sources for the parade available from the department. “We are happy to talk with them,” he said. Bottom line, Tower said, is that UEY needs a minimum of $7,500 before “they can even approach” potential corporate sponsors for the parade. “That’s our minimum, our basic, what we need from blanket government funding.” Tower said if funding were to come from somewhere by Oct. 31, UEY would be able to host the parade. But the organization hasn’t hired anyone yet, and it would be “a bit of a panic.” SOURCE:
  24. Cheap Trick rocks on new holiday album 'Christmas Christmas' October 22, 2017 by MARKOS PAPADATOS - Digital Journal Excerpt - On October 20, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Cheap Trick released their first-ever holiday album "Christmas Christmas" on Big Machine Records. Cheap Trick co-produced this new holiday collection with their longtime collaborator, Grammy winner Julian Raymond, who has worked with the late Glen Campbell.The holiday album opens with their upbeat original tune "Merry Christmas Darlings" and it is followed by the jubilant "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day," which instantly puts the listeners in the holiday spirit. "I Wish It Was Christmas Today" is a great deal of fun, with nostalgic lyrics. **** Overall, Cheap Trick has a released a rocking new holiday project with Christmas Christmas. It is highly eclectic, upbeat and fun. They still prove to be at the top of their game, vocally and instrumentally. This CD garners an A rating. Well done guys. SOURCE:
  25. Christmas shoppers are starting early to save time and money October 22, 2017 by Anthony Keane - news.com.au Excerpt - Australia -IF you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet, you’re a minority. While many shoppers complain about festive season decorations popping up in stores several months early, new research by Beyond Bank Australia has found that 20 per cent start their Christmas shopping during the midyear sales and another 42 per cent start by the end of October. Beyond Bank’s general manager of customer experience, Nick May, said shoppers were becoming more savvy. “Most of us are watching our money very carefully and would rather spread the spending out over two or three months rather than one big blow,” he said. **** Mrs Iannone also starts Christmas shopping early. “I started a month ago — I’ve found in the past when I have left it to the last minute I didn’t have a lot of money left. You tend to go a bit over in the excitement of Christmas,” she said. “I have started putting aside $100 a week since the middle of this year so I can have that money there.” Mozo director Kirsty Lamont said starting early could help consumers save money. She said social deal sites could be a quality source of discounts. “In a two-minute browse of one discount site, Mozo found up to 66 per cent off a dozen bottles of Chardonnay, which had an original price of $159,” she said. “Take the time to review supermarket specials catalogues well ahead of the festive season, and shop for your Christmas essentials when they pop up on sale. SOURCE:
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