by Stephen Dafoe
A Morinville holiday tradition will take place at St. Jean Baptiste Church in two weeks, marking the 41st consecutive year for the Community Christmas Celebration, an interdenominational Musical Jubilee.
The event takes place Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but attendees are encouraged to bring a donation for the Knights of Columbus Christmas Hamper program.
Former Morinville teacher, school board trustee, and Citizen of the Year John Unsworth started the annual celebration in 1978. The event has been a holiday staple in Morinville ever since.
Four years ago, The Morinville Minstrels took over the event from a dedicated team of volunteers. They are once again organizing this year’s concert.
“The Community can expect to be wowed by the awesome talent right here in Morinville,” said Morinville Minstrel and organizing committee member Judy Baker. “They will experience an interdenominational musical jubilee that has brought everyone together on similar evenings for the past 41 years. They will get a sense of belonging, as they enjoy the talents of those within our community at a very joyous time of year.
Baker is joined on the committee by fellow Morinville Minstrels Bob and Diana Moquin, Carol Kaup, Linda Mondor, and Rita Hebert.
“We begin our meetings in early October to get the process underway,” Baker said. “We are only able to do this with a lot of support from the Community.”
This year’s event will include St. Jean Baptiste Church, Alliance Church, The Fathers House, United Church, Ecole Notre Dame, The Fathers House Christian School, The Chance Quartet, and The Morinville Minstrels. Other participants include Krista Mulbery and Brian Grant. As has been a holiday tradition in Morinville at the Community Christmas Celebration, Eddie Bulger and his family have agreed to lead attendees in the congregational songs.
“This event has become one of Morinville’s Christmas Traditions, like putting up the Christmas Tree or the Light up the Night,” Baker said.
“This musical celebration puts the true meaning of Christmas in our hearts. It’s the beginning of the Christmas season for long-time residents in and around Morinville.”
Baker and her fellow organizers are hoping to fill St. Jean Baptiste Church for the celebration.
“It’s a beautiful evening to come out and experience the true Christmas spirit within the Community,” Baker said. “Take the time to enjoy the talents and treasures surrounding you within your own Community.
“It will give you the “feeling” of Christmas, a sense of belonging and put you in the Christmas Spirit. My favourite part is when the children do the Candle Light Procession as Brian Grant sings Silent Night in German.”
Donation to The Knights of Columbus are encouraged. The Knights will put together the Christmas Hampers to the following day.