Santa made a visit to Sturgeon Falls on Monday, December 14, riding into town on a white steed and stealing the hearts of hundreds of people, adults and children alike. He rode through the streets of Sturgeon Falls for over two hours, stopping for photos, greeting children at various schools, stopping by the Au Château, and even went to Tim Hortons for a hot cup of coffee.
Accompanied by three friends, Santa made a huge splash – a beautiful Christmas image against a backdrop of freshly fallen snow. The event was planned by Yvon Renaud of Sturgeon Falls, Crystal Doody and Bonita Mercer of Lavigne, and Megan Godin of North Bay. The four wanted to do something to lift the spirits of people in the area, who have had to forgo so many Christmas activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Renaud, who owns Y&R Hair Design, said he normally volunteers at the Christmas luncheon at Our Lady of Sorrows, but that, along with other Christmas events, has been COVID-cancelled. “For me Christmas isn’t about the gifts, it’s about the magic of Christmas, putting a smile on people’s face. …Everything has been cancelled by COVID and people are going through so much, I really wanted to do something. I knew that they are so used to seeing Santa each year and I knew we weren’t going to have that because the parade was cancelled.”
He contacted one of his clients, Crystal Doody of Lavigne, who keeps horses. Crystal is a nurse in Sudbury, lives in Lavigne, and Monday fit her schedule to help Santa out. Renaud said that because it’s still allowable to ride horses through town, it would provide that extra magic. “We decided to do it on a Monday and go to all the schools.”
The only school they couldn’t get to was Jeunesse Active. Renaud explained that once the team walked through town for 2 ½ hours, both the horses and the people in the group were unable to go further. “That’s the only school we couldn’t make it. We wanted to, but everyone was walking. We left at 10:30 Monday morning, and walked until about 2 pm.”