December 10, 2018 – As the colder weather gave way to milder temperatures, sunny skies and light snow, more than 800 people came through the gates for the first-ever Christmas at Ken Reid, making it an overwhelming success.
“The weather, the atmosphere, the people, it was perfect,” exclaimed Kawartha Conservation CAO Mark Majchrowski. “It really exceeded all of our expectations.”
Made possible through an Aviva Community Fund grant, staff, volunteers and the local community banded together to create a memorable event for the entire community.
“Saturday’s event was the culmination of about 6 weeks planning and we couldn’t be more thrilled with how things went and especially how the community came out to support Kawartha Conservation and make the entire day a truly overwhelming success,” said Kristie Virgoe, Director of Stewardship and Conservation Areas.
The horse drawn wagon rides were particularly popular, as well as the kids crafts in Santa’s Workshop, the Scavenger Hunt, animal display and musical entertainment.
“With this being the first Christmas at Ken Reid, we knew it would be popular based on the early feedback we were receiving,” said Ms. Virgoe. “But I don’t think we anticipated it would be quite as popular as it was.
“We’ve been receiving such great feedback and the first question everyone is asking is, will we be doing this again in 2019,” Ms. Virgoe continued. “The answer is an overwhelming yes. Our staff will be meeting over the next couple of weeks to discuss what worked really well, some things we can perhaps improve upon, and we are looking forward to getting to work on an even better event in 2019.”
Saturday’s event would not have been possible without the generous support, hard work and enthusiasm of the local business community.
“It was amazing to see businesses come forward and get involved,” said Ms. Virgoe. “We are very thankful to everyone who helped support this event, local businesses and organizations, students from I.E. Weldon Secondary School, the Chjippewas of Georgina Island and so many more.”
Capping off the day’s success, hundreds of non-perishable food items were collected to help support the Kawartha Lakes Food Source.
“I am extremely proud of our staff for their time and effort to make Christmas at Ken Reid a huge success,” said Mr. Majchrowski. “And to the community, the moms and dads, grandparents and children who came out to enjoy this special day in nature at Ken Reid Conservation Area, it really means a lot to see so many people having a positive experience in the outdoors at a beautiful conservation area.”