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Christmas on the Ridge: A Peek at Preparations

Christine Whelan FEO, November 9, 2023, VOL. 5 ISSUE 5

“The Ridgeway BIA is very excited to be organizing our annual Christmas festival, Christmas on the Ridge.” Karin DiBiase, BIA member and owner of Lakeside Books and Art announced. “This year, we’re going to have a tree-lighting ceremony in advance of the festival.”

The ceremony is set for November 17 at 6:00 p.m. on the Village Square with a live tree this year. Karin explained, “We’re going to have a decorating ceremony. We’ll be providing ornaments for anyone to come and help us decorate the tree. There’s going to be hot chocolate.”

When talking about the street lighting, “We are going to be wrapping all the poles in downtown Ridgeway with beautiful white lights in advance of the actual festival.

“We’re fundraising for the lights right now because it is expensive. We’re selling birdseed wreaths for $20.00.”

Karin says the fundraiser is not just for raising the money for the downtown lighting. The BIA wants to spread some holiday cheer. “We have people who are planning to decorate their live trees outside with these wreaths.”

The wreaths are available at Wild Daisies Consignment, Lasting Impression, The Village Boutique, and Lakeside Books and Art.

Christmas on the Ridge


“The first Friday in December traditionally begins — as it has for around twenty years — our annual Christmas festival, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. It’s going to be a beautiful evening.” The first Friday this year lands on the first of December.

Karin painted a remarkably festive picture. “For the two days during the festival, Ridge Road will be pedestrian traffic only. The street will be closed off from Dominion Road to Elm Street. “

There will be all kinds of activities going on. “We have fire pits with marshmallows for the children. All the businesses are going to throw open their doors and have various activities going on, in their stores. The restaurants will all be open. Some of them may have live music as well. We are organizing some choirs with the local schools, presenting at the Village Square. We’ll have ice sculptures.”

She added with a smile, “We also will have our little Christmas fairy who will be roaming the streets during the festival.”

And finally, “We’ll have our horse and carriage going up and down the street from 6:00-9:00. Sentineal Horse and Carriages from Niagara-on-the-Lake have been providing their memorable services for many years.”

DiBiase remarked with admiration, “It’s a magical time of the year. With the horse and carriage, the children singing, the tree lit up and doors all open down the street.”

She says it’s a great time to go in and out of the stores, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate, and do some Christmas shopping. “It gets us all into the Christmas spirit.”

Announcing a new addition to the festival, “We are going to have a Santa float. Santa will be starting off the festival at 5:00 pm on Friday.”

The Ridgeway BIA is asking that people be aware of the road being closed down for two days and to make sure their cars are removed from the downtown area on Ridge Road by 4:00 p.m. on Friday.


“The street will remain closed to traffic overnight. Saturday morning, we will be running our traditional Christmas Market. We have artisans and food vendors from the region coming out. It will run from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.”

There are still some spots available for the Christmas Market. If anyone is interested in becoming a vendor, contact Karin DiBiase at Lakeside Books and Art by emailing her at lakesidebooks@outlook.com.

Watch for children’s activities in various locations. “For example, at Lakeside Books, we’re having a reading of a Christmas book by Samantha Meli. Santa will be at the restaurant at 335 on the Ridge between 12:00 – 3:00.” The restaurants will also be open.

“We will still have fire pits with marshmallows at various locations, throughout the street.”

The Fort Erie Arts Council is going to have its traditional selfie booth on the other side of Trailside’s. We’ll have a selfie booth out from Lakeside Books.”

Karin says a lot of the businesses are going to be doing some fun things. There are new stores, artists new to town, and new residents this year.”You have to come out to see what the downtown core has planned.”

The organizers are asking people to come with non-perishable food items as a donation for COPE in exchange for a horse and carriage ride. “The need is greater now than it ever was.”

Karin wrapped up with, “We really appreciate the support that the community shows us by doing their shopping locally. This festival is organized by the local businesses to show that appreciation.”

Watch for advertisements and social media postings for updates as we get closer to the beginning of December.

There are no upcoming events at this time.