Each Saturday in December the Victorian Christmas held different events that were geared for family and children. Most of these events were free or economically priced so more people can be able to enjoy them.
“Everywhere you turn this time of year, we feel the push and pull of consumerism,” said Airiel Scotti, one of the organizers of McCloud’s Victorian Christmas, which finished its last event on Saturday. “Our committee wanted to offer an alternative to this corporate wallet-gouging, and create the kind of experiential ‘gifts’ that will be remembered for years to come, and which will ultimately brand our McCloud as a community that sticks together and always welcomes.
Each Saturday in December the Victorian Christmas held different events that were geared for family and children. Most of these events were free or economically priced so more people can be able to enjoy them. This year McCloud was fortunate enough to pair with Macy’s, which helped decorate much of Main Street and provided some festive highway signage.
The culminating event of the series was a Dickens Dinner on Saturday, as well as two live performances of “Scrooge” by local actor, Bennett Gale at the Axe & Rose Public House.
Gale, whose rendition of Scrooge has become a tradition in McCloud at the holidays, kept the audience spellbound with his transformation.
Following the second performance, the McCloud Hotel held a Dickens dinner in the Sage Restaurant. Many came dressed in Victorian attire which has been the theme of all of McCloud Saturday events. Carolers added to the holiday ambience as people sang along.
At the other end of Main Street in the Great Room, the McCloud Mercantile held a pajama matinee party showing the movie “Polar Express.” Santa was there to visit with children, along with the Grinch, who hung out at the photo booth that was set up for people to take pictures. There were holiday cookies and treats and hot chocolate served by Victorian dressed volunteers.
Scotti said “Polar Express” has a timeless message, to “believe” in what can be an unknown, or a seemingly impossible element.
“The older I get, the more I realize how little is guaranteed in life! This message never fails to tug my heartstrings, and who can argue with the beautiful presentation of the Caldecott Medal Winner?”
“It’s been really gratifying to hear all the positive feedback on what is only McCloud’s second annual Victorian Christmas,” said Scotti. “The Committee ... took inspiration from international and other global Victorian Christmas events, yet have maintained a few mill town traditions.”
It is the business owners and hoteliers who contributed a great deal of their earnings and gifts-in-kind to provide the delicious foods, festive games, and activities for families.
“We would be lost as a chamber without the considerable generosity of our volunteer caché, that goes without saying,” Scotti said. “For every hour that went into each Saturday theme, there were countless others that went into the preparation of the special events.”
Scotti said brainstorming and pulling off the myriad of activities was stressful but also rewarding.
“McCloud has enjoyed hosting Victorian Christmas with our many themed activities each weekend,” said McCloud Chamber of Commerce President Lorinda Meyer. “We appreciate our amazing volunteers ... our many generous sponsors and the wonderful partnership with Macy’s this year. I personally received the greatest joy watching parents share the holiday fun with their children, writing letters to and visiting with Santa, participating in the craft and cookie decorating activities, taking carriage rides, and roasting marshmallows to make tasty s’mores. Stepping back in time to enjoy the Victorian Christmas that McCloud hosts is a treasure for both our community and the families who visit our town to share in the spirit of the season.”