Signage at the Mahone Bay Museum, where the first Father Christmas was observed went up in mid-November before the leaves had irrevocably changed colour and fallen to the ground.
R&R knew from past experience that this was a busy time for a large number of volunteers. As you can see faces of figurines needed attention. Note the reference photos from earlier years.
Some store owners created their own displays. Ruth was still cruising the streets without the need for headgear or gloves.
R&R happened upon the decorating team in action at Amos Pewter.
The artisans at the pewter shop appear to have created or purchased their own figurines.
This pair has been present on the property for several years.
Quite a change in traffic flow with cooling air temperatures.
On this walkabout, Rod again photographed the Snow Queen and father Christmas in their rural setting.
Those patrician figures dressed in winter garb were seen here.
This figure placed on the lawn of the Post Office seemed to give the Festival a springboard. The new poster was attractive and succinct, but descriptive brochures proved to be crowded with too much information.
Across Main Street from the PO at the Anney River bridge.
There is always a Fisherman Father Christmas.
Near the crosswalk of Main to Edgewater Street, The juxtaposition of images is interesting.
The Tea House decoration this year was restrained but attractive.
Once again, R&R were able to have a cuppa on the outdoor patio.
This figurine, seen on the way home, looked like a shopper waiting for a bus.
At the Welcome Centre. After that inclement weather kept your observers housebound.
While they attended the tree lighting ceremony and entertainment at the bandstand last year, they passed on Friday in 2016 because it was cold.
R&R have routinely attended the Lutheran Church sale, but the brochure mislead Ruth to think it was at 8:30 Saturday. Surprised at the lack of activity there they wandered about and stumbled on this sale where they purchased a needed floor lamp.Ruth has the habit of saying, "This time, I would like to find..." The needful item almost always materializes at a cost within her budget.
After that they sought information at the Welcome Centre but found that it was not scheduled to open until 10 am.
This started as an overcast but relatively warm day. At 9 am there was no overflow crowd and lots of parking space. After breakfast at home, R&R reemerged at about 10 am.
Mateus Bistro decorated for the season, as seen on the second walkabout.
That Saint Nicholas seen a few years back had been converted to a traditional Santa Claus.
His lower body costume reflected his days as a religious icon.
These elf helpers appeared overnight on the Post Office veranda.
Mateus, directly across from the PO in its fresh coat of paint applied at Hallowe'en.
This is an indoor smaller version of the weekly Flea Market. Been there, done that!
Went for coffee at Eli's instead. Best Cappuccino in town, Best authentic operating Franking fireplace.
This autograph wall went unnoticed over the years.
Addressed to the owners. Some other stellar names there as well.
Afterwards a brief stop here for meds.
Ruth's blue bag, a present from Allison last Christmas, is getting use this winter.
It is traditional for Ruth to stop by Mahone Bay Trading to look at their expensive footwear. This year they were having a tax free sale.
She had staked out what she wanted months ago, and given a raise in her pension made the first purchase in a couple of years.
By the time they emerged the streets were alive with people and the parking lots filled.
The restaurant next door was filling up with breakfast customers.
And next to that at The Moorings this poor commuter was still waiting.
This is a very popular shop year around.
Rod sat while Ruth looked about.
Lots of neat wool-based hand-made items on display.
But Rod was most enthusiastic about their mice.
Directly across Main, kids emerging from a craft session at the Museum.
The Welcome Centre, next south, was now open.
The Quilt Display there was exceptional.
The Haspap Santa.
Time to quit the increasingly crowded down town.
Carol singers emerging from the Nursing Home.
In the track of the carol singers. For some reason they all crowded into the Cottage Pantry on the far side of the street.
Home again. The traffic never ceased and afternoon temperatures increased.
When R&R drove out for beer at 4:30 it was obvious that there were still enthusiastic shoppers in town.
Here they experienced a full stop while visitors consulted with a live Father Christmas. The gourmet market was in that building beyond the power pole and did not appear to be drawing a crowd, but the liquor store and micro brewery further west were busy places.
Subjectively, Saturday, November 26 had the appearance of a successful commercial day. It was followed by a wipe out, since a lot of the provincial interior was assaulted by heavy wet snow on Sunday. It rained for about and hour-and-a-half that morning, which cleaned the streets but down town became a ghost town.
This was the second storm to affect areas north east of Mahone Bay and Stanfield Airport was shut down along with ferrys to-and-from Nova Scotia.
Those troubles persisted into the following week. At first R&R were inclined to be lazy but realized that this would be a good time to shop for necessities and perhaps view some of the festival events in an uncrowded situation.
This was Rod's window on the hard hit parts of Nova Scotia that Sunday.
We did get wind and cancellation of the local lobster opening season on Monday.
The last of the leaves turned red overnight and started blowing away on Sunday morning.
We had ten minutes of heavy wet snow, which soon melted.
From Ruth's work station window.
What roused R&R to action? The idea of a unhealthy breakfast at the Legion Hall. They both passed on butter!
Rod no longer does plein air and has little interest in going small. He did want to see what local artists were doing at prices ranging from $50 to $150. This event was a benefit for Mahone Bay Centre.
On Saturday Rod had noticed that there was a very small sign on the Masonic Hall saying the "Fantasy Experience" had moved u the hill to The Centre. Noting the lack of Father Christmas figures in the down town core, they gathered that most might be gathered indoors at this location, but the entry fee had ascended from $3 to $5 presumably because there was no external source of funding monies.
Earlier on Ruth had predicted a tight Christmas and arranged this picture. But what the Hail?
Heigh ho! Heigh Ho. It's Up The Hill We Go! On foot. Don't tell us those garbage pail Nutcrackers are not impressive. Entry to the new wing of the Old Academy.
In the old building, those teeney weenie unframed pictures.
Not a wine and cheese event, let alone a Vernissage.
Where to from there? Back across the vestibule into the newer wing on the second floor.
Ruth was reading this large introductory scroll but gave up early on. Information overload. Keep it simple Smilin' Jack?
Having ignored that embarkation notice, R&R signed up for the voyage, and received a "Passport" for the "Around the World Voyage of Peace and love."
R&R took the cruise without the literary pretensions, so we will go there first:
Unedited grab shots.
As the late Basil Brownless would have said, "What's all this? Actually, a great show, once R&R realized they were almost alone in this place and could activate the camera flash, since that would not disturb anyone.
There were two other people present.
Flash did not always improve this low light situation.
However it did rescue the larger Father Christmas figurines in better lighted locations.
There we have somewhat better photographs lacking context.
Visually a great show since the human eye can deal with low light. Obviously this presentation had something to do with multiculturalism, but the message was not overt. Here is what we should have known before taking the voyage!
Fame is fleeting and few Canadians probably remember Fredericton born poet Bliss Carmen since he was a late Victorian character even less remembered abroad. Rod could recite!
That was a the beginning of a poem he composed as a youngster. In the final decade of the 1890s it was published with this illustration. The passport, which R&R failed to read because of low light, made it clear that the this poem inspired the 2016 fantasy.
So, going back through these photos and editing them...
"with it's Sweet a\Shop of delectable treats." Then...
Mahone Bay's last mayor, who was looking to "hibrenate." Seems reasonable.
"Central to our global tour."
Possibly directed by Mrs. Bardon. A for that Bliss Carman poem, which Rod once committed to memory...
And 'dat is 'dat as some of Rod's ancestors would say.