CHARLOTTETOWN (PE) - Victorian Christmas Weekend returns to historic Charlottetown this year and, for the first time ever, will take place during the same weekend as the Charlottetown Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony. Running from Friday, November 24 to Sunday, November 26, the yuletide celebration will feature many festive activities for the whole family to enjoy.
"We’re excited to be hosting the Victorian Christmas Weekend again this year," said Heidi Zinn, Executive Director of Discover Charlottetown, the destination management organization for Charlottetown. "Having an event that showcases Charlottetown as a cozy winter destination is really fun. It encourages people to think outside the box with their travel plans and allows them to see our beautiful destination in a different light."
Programming highlights of the weekend will include free horse and wagon rides, an open air market, a Christmas themed petting zoo, public singalongs with Jill Chandler, ice sculpting demos, classic Christmas movies at City Cinema, historical walking tours, church tours, onsite caroling, a Christmas tree garden, and much more.
One of the anchor events of the weekend, the Victorian Christmas Market, will run Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday. Reminiscent of the European Christmas markets, this open-air pedestrian market will see a block of Queen Street and part of Victoria Row transformed into a winter wonderland filled with an assortment of vendors, music and Christmas spirit.
The Victorian Christmas Weekend has been made possible with financial support from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, the City of Charlottetown, Confederation Court Mall, the Special Events Reserve Fund, Downtown Charlottetown Inc. and through partnerships with the business community.
"In a weekend full of festive activities, Victorian Christmas Weekend is an engaging event full of traditional and historic charm in downtown Charlottetown," said Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA. "The Government of Canada is a proud supporter of Discover Charlottetown as the group continues to contribute to the local economy and promote the city through visitation opportunities like this one."
Charlottetown businesses are joining in the new holiday tradition by offering hotel packages, holiday deals, breakfast with Santa, festive decor and more. The Confederation Court Mall will have additional activities programmed for the Victorian Weekend and feature a warm-up zone, with free cider and other goodies.
"The Victorian Christmas Weekend is another great initiative meant to encourage off-Island visitation and increase bookings during the winter shoulder season," said the Honourable Heath MacDonald, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism. "It’s also a great way to kick off the holiday festivities on Prince Edward Island.
Discover Charlottetown and the City of Charlottetown will partner again this year to offer free horse and wagon rides, all weekend long. This popular outdoor activity, takes place during Victorian Christmas Market hours: Fri. Nov 24, 5pm – 8pm, Sat. Nov.25, 10am - 7pm, & Sun. Nov.26, 12pm – 5pm. Market goers can catch the Horse & Wagon on the corner of Richmond St and Queen st.
"The Wintertide Holiday Festival helps kick-off the many seasonal celebrations, events and activities taking place throughout the city into the New Year, and the Victorian Christmas Weekend has become an important part of that," said Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee. "Attending these annual events provides Islanders and visitors an opportunity to celebrate the holiday season with friends and family."
The organizers are hopeful that clustering all of theses holiday activities together will create a truly magical kick off to the season and showcase Charlottetown as a beautiful backdrop for winter festivities.
"The Charlottetown Special Events Reserve Fund is proud to partner on this unique holiday celebration," said Laurel Lea, Chair. "Such an event takes advantage of Charlottetown's charm and serves as a strong regional travel motivator during the holiday season. By coupling the Victorian Christmas Weekend with two signature City of Charlottetown celebrations - the Charlottetown Christmas Parade and Wintertide Holiday Festival Tree Lighting, it serves to create the potential for more weekend traffic to Charlottetown accommodations, directly meeting SERF's mandate of driving heads in beds."
Additional events and special offerings will be taking place throughout the city to celebrate Victorian Christmas Weekend. For a full line-up of events and promotions, visit www.DiscoverCharlottetown.com/Victorian