Olde fashioned Christmas celebrated at Cornwall Community Museum

Cousins Hailey Blain, two, and Emma Merpaw, five, with some prizes won at the Cornwall Community Museum's Olde Fashioned Family Christmas Party on Sunday, December 9, 2018, in Cornwall, Ont. Todd Hambleton/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network Todd Hambleton / Todd Hambleton/Standard-Freeholder

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It was an Olde Fashioned Family Christmas Party, held on Sunday at the Cornwall Community Museum.

And of course that meant Santa and Mama Claus were in attendance all afternoon, mingling with visitors to the Woodhouse in Lamoureux Park – many of them coming inside for the first time.

Cornwall resident Rick Lalonde was Santa, his wife Sue Holland-Lalonde was Mama Claus, and they’re both big supporters of the museum, which on Sunday opened its doors for everything from a carol sing-a-long to skits, from crafts to kids games, including Pin the Nose on Rudolph.

The well-decorated lower level at the Cornwall Community Museum, an Olde Fashioned Family Christmas Party on Sunday afternoon that included dancing with Santa and Mama Claus. Photo on Sunday, December 9, 2018, in Cornwall, Ont. Todd Hambleton/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network Todd Hambleton / Todd Hambleton/Standard-Freeholder

“The museum is for the City of Cornwall and the very steeped history that’s related to it,” Lalonde said. “There’s a wealth of information here about the city – the people who worked here, lived here. . . I think (a holiday celebration) helps make people aware that the museum is here, it’s open, and it’s open for fun things as well as historic things.”

The lower level where much of the activity was Sunday was very festively decorated, and Lalonde got a lot of credit for that, many of the items coming from his home.

After all, last year at Christmas it was a first-prize winner in a local group’s informal contest to find the city’s best-decorated home.

Lalonde explained that his wife “was a teacher all her life, anything she wanted for her classroom I had the ability to make or create.”

Lalonde, 75, still works part-time, at Home Depot, but has the time to keep creating, when it comes to holiday decorations.

Santa and Mama Claus, at the Cornwall Community Museum’s Olde Fashioned Family Christmas Party. Photo on Sunday, December 9, 2018, in Cornwall, Ont. Todd Hambleton/Cornwall Standard-Freeholder/Postmedia Network Todd Hambleton / Todd Hambleton/Standard-Freeholder

“All (the decorating is) finished at home (already),” he said.

Don Smith, the museum manager and associate curator, agreed a Christmas-themed event is helpful in creating more awareness about what exactly is inside the Woodhouse.

“We try to have different events, to attract people who may not have been here before,” he said.

There’s always lots going on at the museum, even during the holiday season, and Smith said more details will be made available soon regarding a book launch on historic SD&G dairies, coming up later in December.

“We try to tell the story of SD&G ever since the founding in 1784,’’ Smith said.

thambleton@postmedia.com

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