|Sainte-Marie among the Hurons Interpreters Patrick DeCourcy (left) and Joël Mayotte begin the task of decorating the historic site|
Named by Festivals and Events Ontario as one of its “Top 100” events in the province, Midland’s Sainte-Marie’s among the Hurons spectacular First Light returns for its 14th year on the evenings of November 28th, 29th and 30th (2013).
The unique feature of First Light is the illumination of the historic site only by candlelight. More than 5,000 candles in historic buildings and along lantern-lit paths lead to a variety of fun family activities.
Upon entering the site, visitors will encounter the popular “Survival In The Bush” historical encampment at the main gates.
In the Jesuit Residence, children can write with quill pens as they prepare their very own seasonal messages on Christmas cards designed by students at Bayview Public Elementary School in Midland.
The card is one of many Christmas “take home” crafts children can make at First Light. In the Sainte-Marie foyer, children will love making a corn husk doll, and creating a special angel ornament in the Carpenter Shop.
Festival du Loup, La Clé d’la Baie and Eco Huronie will offer “Fleur de lys” crafts in the En Colombage building. In the Cookhouse 12,000 gingerbread and shortbread cookies from historic recipes will be available for sampling. The sounds and sparks of musket fire will fill the night courtesy of re-enactor group La Compagnie Franche de la Marine.
Festive music has always been a crowd pleaser at First Light, and this year’s event will provide a wonderful mix of performers. New this year will be Ruth Sutherland, playing selections from her “A Canadian Christmas” CD that has been nominated for 3 Hamilton Music Awards. A cappella troupe, Mix’n’Match will wander through the historic site filling the air with seasonal sounds. Local artist Michel Payment will share his inspiring songs in the Sainte-Marie Chapel.
Traditional French and holiday music will be provided by the popular Famille Lefaive “ARIKO” and Jill et les Bucherons at the “French Café” in Restaurant Sainte-Marie. In Sainte-Marie’s famous longhouses, the Christian Island Drum Group and Red Spirit Drum Group will thrill audiences with their First Nations drumming, chanting, and singing. A total of 12 choirs including seven school groups will also perform at the event over three evenings, including the return of The Children’s Community Choir from Penetanguishene, the OPP Chorus, la Chorale de l’École Sainte-Croix and le Choeur d’la Clé.
For everyone who would like to do some early Christmas shopping, 21 exceptional artisans will be in the Sainte-Marie Museum and the Sainte-Marie gift shop will be open each night.
The magical First Light event will be presented at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons evenings November 28, 29, and 30 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Admission is just $10.00 per person with a non-perishable food item that will be donated to the local Salvation Army food bank. Children ages 5 and under are free. For information call (705) 526-7838 or visit www.hhp.on.ca
Special Notes: Please be advised that with the exception of service animals, pets are not allowed on the historic site for this event. Overflow parking will be available at Doral Industries, (former Mitsubishi/RCA building) 100 Wye Valley Road. Free shuttle buses will operate from Doral to Sainte-Marie throughout each evening.
Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is operated by Huronia Historical Parks,
and is an Attraction of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport.