The storm of last Thursday and Friday meant a tough start for The Friends of Presqu'ile volunteers who were preparing for the 22nd Annual Christmas at Presqu'ile .We have had our share of rain, sunshine, wind, and snow but the effect of this year's weather topped them all.
Thursday night, a combination of wind and rain collapsed the canopy which protects the visitors at the entrance to the Christmas House. A quick response by Park staff on Friday morning meant that the buckled frame was repaired but continuing high winds made it impossible to fit the canopy. A team of volunteers were contacted with a view to fitting it first thing Saturday morning.
Then, early Friday afternoon, both the power and Bell telephone service were lost. Three trees had taken out the lines at different locations in the Park. Extensive work was carried out by Ontario Hydro and Bell, however the storm damage was so severe that it only became apparent early Saturday that full service might not be restored until later that day
At first light, volunteers showed up to put the canopy in place. Generators were brought in for the three buildings used for Christmas at Presqu'ile: The Christmas House, Stonehedge, and the Lighthouse Centre. Luckily the Park had kept the old-fashioned swipe system for dealing with credit cards so The Friends were ‘up and running' as the first shoppers arrived. Staff in the Tea Room used camp stoves to warm the sauce for the rum cake.
All round, it was almost business as normal until power was restored around 2 pm. Nearly 800 visitors braved the wind and rain of Saturday and The Friends thank them for their patience.
And we cannot say enough about all our volunteers, helpers, and friends who stepped up and helped in so many ways.
This show is our major fund-raising event and allows us to carry out so many projects within the Park.
‘Thank you' to ALL who helped.