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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Holiday Stroll the Streets welcomes Santa to Belle River

by Julianna Bonnett 

The holiday spirit was in full swing in Belle River last Friday evening as the Belle River On The Lake BIA hosted its second annual Holiday Stroll the Street with Santa. The festive event featured many local vendors, tons of free samples, and a chance to meet the jolly man himself, Santa Claus.

  Janel Gagnier, Belle River On The Lake BIA Event Coordinator, said the BIA puts on many Stroll the Street events during the spring and summer months, but this was the second time a holiday-flavored event was offered in month of November.

  “We do many Stroll the Streets throughout May, June, and September and not too long ago we decided to add in November,” Gagnier said. “We’ve been actively doing Stroll the Street events for about four to five years now, but we find doing the winter one gets many kids in the community to come out.”

  Gagnier said what they like to do during the event is keep all local businesses open for the community to showcase how many locally owned shops there are in Belle River.

  “Tonight, we have about 20 vendors that have come out to our event, but what’s special is many don’t realize is the amount of local shops we have here in Belle River,” Gagnier said. “Many of the stores here are all local and I think local is something we should focus on more as a community.”

  Throughout the event, members of the Belle River On The Lake BIA’s goal is to collect donations and canned goods for the GoodFellows in hopes of helping families in the community that need it.

  “It’s just an all-around good event that is benefiting the community, benefiting people that aren’t from our community, and benefiting a good charity,” Associate Member of the Belle River On The Lake BIA, Julie Curtis, said.

The event started at 6 p.m. and featured the rock cover band “Leave Those Kids Alone,” princess impersonators, and plenty of hot chocolate to go around.

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