Santa Claus

River Canard gets picture perfect Christmas tree, Santa arrives in a canoe



By Christian Bouchard


The community of River Canard is getting in the holiday spirit.

Ron Lapointe, owner of the Outpost General Store in River Canard created the first “Sproose the Bruce” event. Held in the heart of the community, the event sees a 45-foot evergreen tree being transformed into a fully lit and decorated Christmas tree that plays music throughout the night.

Lapointe came up with the idea to decorate the tree during the summer when he realized there used to be willow trees next to the current Christmas tree. Once the willow trees were damaged and taken down, he thought how nice of a Christmas tree it would make next to the river.

The River Canard Outpost General Store has recently illuminated a Christmas tree.

“People skate and hangout here all the time,” said Lapointe. “It’s a postcard picture.”

Kelsea Cookson is a resident of the River Canard community and had the honour of lighting the Christmas tree for the first time. Cookson entered a contest which allowed anyone under 12 years of age to enter their name in a ballot box at the Outpost General Store.

“I’m excited to light the tree,” said Cookson. “I want to thank Ron, the store owner for giving me the chance to light the tree. Hopefully even more people come out next year.”

“Buddy the Elf” posed with Kelsea Cookson (right) minutes before the first annual “Sproose the Bruce” tree lighting ceremony. Cookson entered a contest which allowed her to be the very first person to light the tree.

According to Lapointe, it took approximately 8 hours to decorate the 45-foot tree and make sure all the lights and music were working appropriately. After trying to get boom trucks to help with the installation of lights he ran into issues with trucks not operating.

“There were no donations, no government handout or anything,” added Lapointe. “We used ladders and poles and it came out great. It’s nice to see we’re getting people involved and bringing the community together.”

Santa Claus arrived in a canoe again this year to the Outpost General Store in River Canard.

The store owner believes next year will be bigger and better. The lighting of the Christmas tree will now be an annual event with lights staying on until Jan. 10.

On Sunday, the Christmas festivities continued as local youth gathered on and around the River Canard bridge near the store as Santa Claus arrived in a canoe.





Santa Claus floats down Canard River via canoe



By Jolene Perron


Santa Claus traded in his sleigh for a canoe over the weekend, and made his way down River Canard to stop in for a visit at a local store.

For the second year, the River Canard Outpost General Store and the River Canard Canoe Co. have brought a unique Christmas themed event to the community, highlighting their waterway and bringing families together.

Santa Claus came down River Canard by canoe Sunday afternoon to greet families along the waterfront.

Owner Ron Lapointe explained they wanted to show off what they have in their area as far as tourism goes. He said River Canard is a community all in itself.

“People seemed to respond to our event very positively, it’s great for the kids, it’s great for the families, and where else can you see Santa Claus come in to town by boat?” said Lapointe.

Their Santa was particularly unique. Not only did he travel down the river in a canoe, paddled by his elves, he did a full magic show and brought with him a number of helping elves to paint faces and play Christmas games.

“We were invited by our friend to come out to see Santa come down the river,” explained Debra Flores, mother of two. “When we went online we saw a lot of other things taking place too so we’re excited about that. The kids didn’t know so it was a nice surprise for them. We are looking forward to the hot chocolate and the games.

After canoeing down the river and under the bridge, Santa had a chance to meet with children on the shores behind the River Canard Outpost General Store Dec. 3.

“It’s different, if the river was frozen it might have added a bit more to it, but it’s still great.”

Lapointe said the turnout this year doubled, with a crowd of parents and children overlooking the waterfront. He said it’s just their way of saying thank you to the community for supporting them throughout the year.

11th annual Santa Claus Parade hitting Amherstburg streets this Saturday night



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Santa Claus Parade is this Saturday!

The parade starts at 6 p.m. and runs the same route as it has in recent years, with parade check-in at Sandwich St. North and Texas Road with the parade itself starting at William St. and heading south on Sandwich St. to Richmond St., turning down Richmond and heading west to Dalhousie St. before heading north on Dalhousie St. and finishing at Toddy Jones Park.

The 2016 Santa Claus Parade is Nov. 26. Pictured is a look back at the 2015 parade.

The 2016 Santa Claus Parade is Nov. 26. Pictured is a look back at the 2015 parade.

The parade is presented by the Windsor Parade Corporation, which is headed by Maggie Durocher and Dave Grimaldi.

“We’re excited,” said Grimaldi. “It’s Maggie and my hometown. We’re always excited to bring the show there and kick off the Christmas season.”

Grimaldi estimated there are nine bands that will be part of this Saturday’s parade, including three bands from the United States. The band Renaissance was part of last Saturday’s parade in Kingsville, with the roughly 125-student band being a hit, said Grimaldi.

The Detroit School of Performing Arts and band from River Rouge, Michigan are also scheduled to attend, he said.

There are six equine units scheduled to be part of the parade, with the Canadian Cowgirls set to be near the front opening the parade.

“Those are always crowd pleasers,” he said of the equine units.

The individual communities also are a big part of each parade, Grimaldi noted.

“Each parade is made by the community entries,” he said.

There is around the same number of entries this year as there have been in past parades and the uniqueness and personal touches to the floats add to it.

“We always look forward to seeing the local entries,” said Grimaldi.

Grimaldi estimates it takes about one hour and 20 minutes for it to pass any one location.

“Amherstburg has a unique quality about it,” said Grimaldi, though noting while Amherstburg set the standard, other parades “are working hard to match it.”

Many come from outside of Amherstburg just to watch the local parade, he added.

The organizers hope for strong crowds in the downtown core, believing the infusion of local restaurants could bolster attendance in the area.

A local real estate office is also helping out as the Dan Gemus Real Estate Team is raising canned goods and non-perishable food items for the Amherstburg Food Bank. Their float will be collecting goods along the parade route, with Gemus adding that canned goods, non-perishable items and monetary donations are also being accepted at his Richmond St. office up until the parade as well.

AMA Sportsmen’s Association holds Christmas party for children


AMA Xmas Party

Special to the RTT


Santa Claus made a stop at the A.M.A Sportsmen Club on Lowes Side Road Dec. 6, bringing smiles to the 110 kids and grandkids, of the members of the AMA Sportsmen from ages two weeks old to ten-years-old. It was part of the AMA Sportsman’s annual “Kids Christmas Party.”

It was a fun afternoon with music and games provided by “Ohanna” Family band. Lots of pop, chips, candy and, of course, hot dogs were prepared and served by Santa’s Helpers (aka AMA Sportsmen and their wives).

After all the food, singing and playing. Santa (“Dick”) appeared bringing presents for all the kids, his three elf’s (Becky, Karen & Donna) made sure all the kids were called up and got their present hand picked and wrapped by some of the Sportsmen and their wives.

A very special thank you to the Sportsmen and Sportswomen who put forth the extra effort to collect the kids’ names and ages, get them a special present, Picked by Marita and help with the food and drinks on the day of the party.

Maybe next year you would like to become a member of the A.M.A Sportsmen Association and join us at our next “Annual Kid’s Christmas Party.”

For more pictures and upcoming events at the AMA Sportsmen Association visit our website at or email us at