As the challenging year of 2020 heads into the holidays, thousands of residents of Prince Edward County were smiling from ear to ear on Saturday as they made their way through Tri-Canadian Energy’s Santa Extravaganza at Loch-Sloy.
On Saturday, December 11th, residents of Prince Edward County were invited to drive through the Loch-Sloy Santa Extravaganza for free from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Drivers were asked to line up along the side of the road as traffic elves helped to direct people into the event. Dozens of holiday displays with different themes, volunteers or sponsors waved and spread holiday cheer to cars as they drove through the event.
After the second wave of COVID-19 cancelled holiday parades in Prince Edward County, Tri-Canadian Energy quickly rallied together alongside the community to develop a safe way to engage the community in a holiday celebration.
“One thing I want to stress is how cool it is that the community pitched in and came together to make this happen,” said Tri-Canadian Energy owner Steve Van Dusen. “So many people stepped up to the plate to give. I don’t think people really understand the scope of what happened here, the amount of teamwork from the community is unbelievable.”
The team at Tri-Canadian Energy, with help from the PEC Fire Department, Prince Edward Air Base/Loch-Sloy, erected a 60-foot Christmas tree, with over 5000 solar-powered lights, and declared it the Tree of Hope.
Community collaboration also made giving away gift bags and gift cards possible with the help and support from a variety of sponsors such as Otter Energy, Sobeys, Metro, and more.“A gift card was given to each car with kids, and McDonald’s gave away 600 big mac meals,” said Van Dusen. “Steve Everall and Jacqui Burley of Loch-Sloy donated the land, and the fire department helped us put the star on top of the tree.”
Tri-Canadian Energy volunteers also built a bandstand at Loch-Sloy that can be used in future community events and concerts.“We came together to begin working on this four weeks ago and it felt herculean in scope,” said Tri-Canadian Energy administrative assistant Jennifer Litke. “This wouldn’t have gotten off the ground without the help and contributions from the Department of Illumination, Shatterbox Theatre, and members of all of the different recreational committees.”
The event featured a Santa tent where children were able to meet with Santa by driving through Santa’s tent, as well as a live performance by the County’s Instant rivalry Duo broke in the new solar-powered stage.
“It’s all about community, when I heard about this, I was really thankful,” said Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis. “This was well needed in the time of COVID and what the community is going through.”