The tradition of people going around a neighbourhood singing Christmas carols is a very ancient one. However, in the Comox Valley, it’s quite a new tradition. It is a great way to experience the Estuary during the Winter season.
On Tuesday, December 5, 4:00 - 6:00 pm, join singers as they walk from 27th Street along the Riverway to the Westerly Hotel. The Hotel will provide a wassail cup to all carollers. Those who wish to stay for dinner will receive a special rate but reserve seats or a table in advance (250 338 2749).
Carollers will gather at the Mansfield Drive parking space near Cliffe Ave at 27 St., Courtenay. They will be led by John van Egmond,; Jim Boase on trumpet. Those who don’t want to walk 10 blocks, could join the minstrels at the Air Park or at the Old House. This year, Rick Husband and Dale Graham, John and Joanne van Egmond and Nicole Fifi will join us for an indoor program of singing at the Westerly.
Dress for the weather and for the Season! Also, consider car pooling so that one vehicle is at each end of the walk. Some shuttle service will be available but you might have to wait. Everyone should have a light and bring some carol sheets. It is not necessary to be a great singer but it is necessary that everyone has a great time, so dress for the weather! (If it is particularly inclement, we will meet in the Westerly lobby at 4 pm)
Following the Riverway, the route will go past several strata complexes, the Whistle Stop Pub and Holiday Inn, past the Information Centre and Air Park, Old House Hotel and under the 17th street bridge to the Westerly Hotel.
This is a free public event for people of all ages who wish to begin the Holiday Season by celebrating traditionally – but with Comox Valley style and ambience. Last year we were joined by 96 people! In our era, money often is offered for good causes. This event is not a fundraiser per se but Salvation Army Kettle volunteers will be on the carol walk.
Wassail is derived from an old English word meaning “be thou hale”. Sometimes people would go into orchards and sing to the apple trees so they would bear good harvests. Often carollers were invited into homes for a cup of good cheer. Organizers are Project Watershed volunteers. For further information, contact that office: 250-703-2871.