by Stephen Dafoe
A Morinville holiday tradition will take place at St. Jean Baptiste Church Thursday night, marking the 39th consecutive year for the Community Christmas Celebration, an interdenominational Musical Jubilee.
The event takes place Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Former Morinville teacher, school board trustee, and Citizen of the Year John Unsworth started the annual celebration in the late 1970s. In its inaugural year, staff and students of École Georges P. Vanier School invited parents and the general public to a traditional Christmas concert in the school’s gymnasium.
The response was so positive Unger organized the first full Community Christmas Celebration the following year at St. Jean Baptiste Church, inviting other Morinville churches to participate in the event. Over the next eight years, the event evolved into what was the community’s most anticipated annual event.
Unsworth moved to British Columbia in 1988, at which time the annual celebration was taken over by a small group of dedicated volunteers who wanted to see the event continue.
Last year, the Morinville Minstrels took over the event from a dedicated team of volunteers, and are once again organizing this year’s concert.
All are welcome; however, attendees are asked to bring a donation for the food bank.