Oakville residents gather to celebrate Christmas tree lighting ceremony


More than 1,000 residents gathered in downtown Oakville last Friday for the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Starting the night off was a local band called Hold The Phones which played everything from rock tunes to classic Christmas sing-a-longs.

Shop windows along Kerr Street are now decorated, and trees along Lakeshore are lit up to kick off the Christmas spirit in Oakville.

The Oakville Business Improvement Area association, which provides services such as street beautification, branding and marketing, was responsible for picking the tree and putting the event together.

woodleypresized-Hold the Phones, a local band performs for residents of Oakville at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony

Hold the Phones, a local band, provides entertainment for the night at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

“Our goal is to unite businesses of downtown Oakville, as well as residents to celebrate Christmas tradition. We are responsible for marketing this historic business district. We span over six city blocks and represent over 400 businesses. Whenever we can get people out to a downtown venue it’s great because it’s stimulating for everyone,” said Sharlene Plewman, executive director of the BIA.

As the night progressed, so did the Christmas spirit, as children made their way up on stage to sing Christmas carols such as “Jingle Bells” and “Frosty the Snowman.”  Between songs visitors enjoyed apple cider and hot chocolate provided by Piazzo Bistro, a restaurant beside Town Square.

The main attraction of the night was lighting the tree itself, prepared by local businessman Brad Miller, of Gooddale Miller Century 21 and Ramsin Khachi, a local home designer.

“It’s great to be a part of this event. It’s wonderful it happens every year, but at the end of the day it’s really for the kids,” said Khachi. “A lot of improvising had to be done, because I’ve never designed a tree this big, so it was a challenge. It’s not like you can just go to the store and get what you need. At the end of the day it worked.”

The tree lighting ceremony has become a tradition in Oakville for 19 years.

“I was born and raised in Oakville. My parents owned businesses here for a long time. My roots are deep in Oakville. I’ve gone to the tree lighting ceremony many times before, and just love to see the community come together like this. This is why I believe it’s important to give back to the community,” said Miller.


Residents gather at Town Sqaure, in Oakville, to celebrate Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Mayor Rob Burton and MPP Kevin Flynn showed up on stage and welcomed Santa. Together they flipped the switch to show off the Christmas tree glowing with lights. Sparkling, and filled with large gold and silver ornaments, gold ribbon, and a star, the tree is hard not to look at. Even with out the lights it was beautiful.

woodleypresized-Christmas carollers take stage at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in downtown Oakville last weekend

Christmas carollers gather on stage to sing at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

“I’m so happy that so many people could be here tonight. Christmas is the best time of year. Everyone must have been good this year, because this weather is only possible if everyone was on Santa’s nice list,” said Burton.

Downtown Oakville is recognized for its rich history and heritage and according to Flynn it is growing.

“Any time I travel across Ontario, I talk to people from different parts of the province. When they talk about Oakville, they talk about what happens in downtown Oakville,” said Flynn. “ On behalf of the premier, and all members of legislative assembly at Queens Park, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas.”

Organizations such as Relay for Life,and the Salvation Army were also present taking donations.

“This event has turned out to be a big success. We are receiving a lot of donations. I look around and see people that are happy. Sadly, the fact is there are a lot of less fortunate people out there. This is why I think Christmas is a time to give back,” said Stacey Brunton-Douglas a Relay for Life team leader.