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Full month of holiday festivities planned in Waterloo region

Holiday lights in Kitchener Holiday lights in Kitchener

The holiday season has arrived and there are several events happening across Waterloo region to usher in the festivities.

From virtual stories with Santa Claus to carolling in Ayr, December is packed with holiday-themed events.

For those who missed the Santa Claus Parades so far, there are still a few to come.

Below is a list of some of the holiday events s happening in Waterloo region:

Nov. 12 to Jan. 5, 2023

The facade of the Old Post Office building located at 12 Water Street South in Cambridge is lit up for the holiday season using a digital light projection.

The holiday show runs from Thursday to Sunday.

Nov. 12 to Jan. 7, 2023

From walking tunnels to a light show featuring a 40-foot dancing tree, Jungle Bell Rock at Bingemans in Kitchener is open for its inaugural season.

“Take in spectacular walking tunnels, sparkling lighting decorations and immerse yourself in the beauty of the season. Relax at the open fire pits with some s'mores, decorate cookies in Mrs. Claus' Kitchen or listen to live entertainment on featured nights,” the event says.

Nov. 26 to Jan. 1

Every night from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. the lights will be turned on for Wonders of Winter.

Wonders of Winter is a private, volunteer-run festival showcasing light displays in Waterloo Park.

Dec. 1 to Dec. 4

An annual Christmas tradition is returning to Kitchener as the Christkindl Market reopens,with some new features.

“The Christkindl Market recreates the sights, sounds, smells and spirit of the Christmas festivals across Germany and other European cities,” the city said in a news release.

Dec. 1 to Jan. 1

Winter Ice and Lights returns to Cambridge for a month of light displays in Preston’s Central Park.

“Some installations can be viewed by driving past, while others are best enjoyed by being on foot and walking up to them,” the city said.

Dec. 3

The 42nd annual Hespeler Santa Claus Parade will return on Dec. 3.

Dec. 3

The Fergus Santa Claus parade will be held at 1:30 p.m.

Parade-goers can catch the action as the floats and marching bands make their way from the A.O. Smith parking lot to Maple Street, across to Andrew Street West and down to St. David Street. The parade will then loop back onto Hill Street West and into the A.O. Smith parking lot.

Dec. 4

The second annual “It’s a Christmas Market” is returning to Bingemans Centre.

Dec. 4, 11 and 18

The Region of Waterloo Museum transports you back in time for county Christmas, offering a glimpse into the sights and sounds of Christmas past.

“Visit the decorated historic homes for unique holiday traditions, let your little ones meet Father Christmas, and enjoy a sing-along to your favourite Christmas carols,” the event reads.

Dec. 5

The Rockwood Santa Claus Parade will make its way through the community starting at 7 p.m.

Dec. 6

The Kitchener Rangers are hosting their 27th annual Teddy Bear Toss at The Aud.

“The Kitchener Rangers host the Guelph Storm at 7 p.m. and ask you to bring a NEW teddy bear to the game. Immediately following the Rangers' first goal, throw your bear onto the ice surface,” the hockey organization said in a news release. “Bears will then be collected and turned over to local charitable organizations just in time for Christmas.”

This year, there will not be bears available for purchase. Fans are asked to follow the guidelines laid out by the Rangers, which include new, clean bears only and refrain from bringing bears with battery packs.

Dec. 8

A pop-up event will be held as a part of Winterfest in Cambridge.

At 7 p.m., the local group the Pawnee Steelbands will play Caribbean music. This will be followed by Tinsel & Jingle who will perform an interactive music show.

“Experience the lights in Central Park while enjoying the live concert and special visits from Santa, Mrs. Clause and Willy Melt,” the event says.

Dec. 9

The Guelph holiday night market returns to Victoria Park East.

There will be a variety of local vendors, mystical readers, artists, witchy and holistic products, crystals, jewelry and more.

The event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Dec. 10 and 11

The Cambridge Christmas market returns for two days.

The market has been around since 2012 and this year will offer almost 60 local artisans, crafters and makers.

Dec. 11

The Guelph Eramosa Fire Department will be hosting Santa when he comes into town.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Santa will be at the Rockwood Fire Station for a meet and greet.

“For a cash and/or food donation you will be able to take your own pictures of your loved ones with Santa in a fire truck. Tour the Station and let our firefighters show you the special tools we use on the job,” the event says.

Dec. 11

The community of Ayr is getting together to sing carols outside in Centennial Park at 6 p.m.

North Dumfries mayor Sue Foxton will lead the carolling. Those attending are encouraged to bring flashlights.

Dec. 16

McDougall Cottage in Cambridge will be hosting a carolling session with Voci Cantanti.

“All are welcome to join Voci Cantanti for this evening of traditional carols. Bring your voice and join in, or just sit back and enjoy the sounds of the season,” the event reads.

The Cottage will be serving warm cider and some seasonal goodies.

This event will take place outside in the Cottage’s back garden, so dress for the weather. The event will move inside if the weather does not cooperate. (

Dec. 24

On Christmas Eve, the Waterloo Public Library will be holding a storytime session from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The event will include stories, crafts and songs.

Dev. 24

The Guelph Public Library will be hosting a virtual storytime with Santa event on Christmas Eve.

“Make this Christmas Eve extra special with a Storytime with Santa,” the event says.

Dec. 31

To wrap up the year, the City of Cambridge will hold a New Year's Eve party from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“Come ring in an early New Year with an evening packed with free activities for all ages on and off the ice,” the city said. “Festivities will include ice skating, a Turbo Max inflatable obstacle course, live entertainment, games and more.”

The party will be held at Hespeler Arena located at 640 Ellis Road.

Dec. 31

The public is invited to Carl Zehr Square in Kitchener to ring in the New Year.

The city says there will be a free family skate and a live DJ.

The event runs from 6 p.m. to midnight. Top Stories

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