1:30 p.m., Dec. 13)
Village returns to Place d'Orléans for another
By Fred Sherwin
Magical Village is open during regular mall
hours at Place d'Orleans until Christmas Eve.
Admission is free, however, monetary donations
and non-perishable food items are accepted.
you are a kid, or a kid at heart, no visit to Place d'Orléans
during the holiday season is complete without saying hello
to Santa, or dropping by to see the Magical Village.
miniature managerie of more than 300
buildings; six model railway trains including Thomas the
Tank Engine; and countless figurines including trees,
cars and other features, is once again situated on the
second floor of the east end mall next to the Food Court.
takes roughly 20 volunteers more than 200 hours to set
up the popular display under the guidance of the Gloucester
North Lions Club, who have been the keepers of the Village
for the past 16 years.
Magical Village was first assembled by former Gloucester
mayor Claudette Cain in the foyer of the old Gloucester
city hall building in 1998. In 1999, it was moved to the
Gloucester Centre Shopping Mall where it remained until
2002 when it was moved further east to Place d'Orléans.
the years the Magical Village has raised over $100,000
for a variety of charities including the Gloucester Emergency
Food Cupboard and the Orléans-Cumberland Food Bank.
year, the Gloucester North Lions Club managed to raise
over $10,000 between local business sponsors and freewill
donations left by visitors. This year they hope to improve
on that amount.
the 22 business sponsors are Alterna
Savings Bank; the Garlic King restaurant; Care Free Property
Maintenance; Ottawa-Orléans MPP Marie-France Lalonde;
and Symphony Senior Living Orléans.
of the Village's magic is noticing new elements that you
hadn't seen before, or seeing old standbys like the Nutcracker
Theatre or the McDonald's drive-thu.
latest editions to the Village are Santa's Toy Shop, the
World's Fair Carriage Race and a working cable car that
was donated by an anonymous member of the public.
the Village is normally manned by Lions Club members,
more then a dozen high school students volunteer their
time to help earn community service hours.
Magical Village is open until Christmas Eve. The hours
are Monday to Friday from noon to 9 p.m., Saturday from
9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
to the Magical Village is free, but they do accept non-perishable
food or monetary donations. For 2014, the net proceeds
will be shared between the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard;
the Orleans-Cumberland Food Bank; Lions Camp Dorset (provides
a camping experience for those requiring dialysis) and
Ronald McDonald House.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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