Carol festivals this week

December 5, 2018 9:41 am
Kevin Weedmark

Carol festivals are coming up this week in both Esterhazy and Moosomin. The Esterhazy Community Carol Festival is Wednesday evening and the Moosomin Carol Festival takes place Sunday.

Esterhazy Community Carol Festival

The Esterhazy Community Carol Festival is set for Wednesday, December 5.

It takes place at the SN Boreen Centre from 7-9 pm.

The carol festival is free to attend, but organizers will take up an offering for the St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundation and will also have boxes set up if people want to bring food donations for the Christmas food hampers.

Pastor Brent Nightingale of the Esterhazy Full Gospel Fellowship is helping organize the event this year. He says the event often raises quite a bit for the hospital foundation, and brings in quite a bit in food donations.

“We usually get about $1,000 to $1,200 in donations,” he said.

What kind of performances can people expect at the carol festival?

“It’s a variety,” says Nigthingale. “This year there are only two church choirs. The day care children will be singing, the elementary school choir, the junior high school choir, the high school choir, there’s a community choir, and different individuals, so there will be quite a range.”

Nightingale said performers are from Esterhazy and surrounding communities.

The carol festival is organized by the Esterhazy Clergy Council.

Different pastors and ministers from the different churches take turns organizing the event each year.

Attendance can vary, depending on the weather. “We have had a low of 250, and a high of 350-400—we’ve had it very full in there when the weather is good. It’s always a good turnout,” Nightingale said.

Why do the churches in Esterhazy invest the time and effort into putting on the carol festival each year?
“We are trying to provide a nice event for people to come out and start thinking about the Christmas season. We try to do it early in December, and get people thinking about others and what Christmas is all about.”

Moosomin Carol Festival

The Moosomin Carol Festival takes place this Sunday, December 9.

The carol festival has been held annually for decades, and is organized under the umbrella of the Moosomin Music Festival, and hosted by a different church each year. This year it will be held at Moosomin Baptist Church.

There will be two performances, at 2 pm and 7 pm.

Renee Whelpton, one of the organizers of the Moosomin Carol Festival this year, says there should be a lot of variety in this year’s performances.

“We have had quite a lot of response,” she says. “We have a lot of young kids performing, more single acts than choirs this year, there will be a saxophone player and a ukulele, some piano.

“We will also have our choirs, the Creative Vision choir, the MacLeod School choir and the high school choir, and we will have the community band playing.”

Most of the performers are from the immediate Moosomin-Rocanville area.

Donations will be accepted for the Moosomin and Rocanville food banks. There will be a collection for the food banks, and food donations will also be accepted.

Whelpton said she expects a good crowd for the event.

“We usually get a good crowd—I’m anticipating the church will be full,” she said. “Everyone likes to see their neighbors performing or their grandkids performing, so we usually get a good crowd. We switched the weekend because so much was going on the first weekend of December. We decided to move it one week later so we hope it will go well.”

Why does she put the work into organizing the carol festival?

“It’s a good thing for the community,” she says.

“It gets you in the Christmas mood, it’s a community event that brings people together from different portions of the community, from different churches, and even those who don’t attend church. You get to see a lot of different people and it’s a nice time. I’m looking forward to it. I have a good committee helping with this, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the young ones perform, and seeing people enjoy themselves watching the performances.”