Santa Claus is Coming to Town (and he's bringing some friends!)

The signs are unmistakable. Strings of lights are being lit, giant inflatable snowmen are appearing on lawns, the music in big city malls is starting to make you want to jam a screwdriver into your ear — the Christmas season is definitely upon us. And, of course, Santa himself has taken up temporary residence in our community. The jolly, old elf himself will be in Almonte on Saturday, November 26, for some photo ops. Bring the family for photos with Santa at BH Photography. For only $10 you get a 5×7 print and for $10 more you get the electronic file — proceeds to the Young Awards Foundation. Later that same day, the Carleton Place Santa Claus Parade takes place. Head over early to claim your spot to watch the floats. The parade starts at 5pm. If your young'uns need a bit of help getting their wishes down on paper to send to the North Pole, there is a Letter Writing to Santa Workshop taking place at Moore House in Carleton Place from 1-4pm. Later that evening, the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum presents the Mr. Fezziwig's Victorian Xmas Party. With live holiday music, a fine art auction and light refreshments, this event is an annual Christmas tradition. Get your tickets at the museum or Baker Bob's and head over to the MVTM dressed in your best Victorian-style clothing.

If your own Christmas wish list includes items like No. 2 pencils, a new ribbon for your typewriter, or several dozen moleskin notebooks, then perhaps you might like to stop in at Palms Coffee Shop on Thursday, November 27, at 7pm for a talk on Getting Your Book Published with Ottawa author Nerys Parry. She will discuss the pleasures and pitfalls she experienced during her 11-year journey to bring her novel to print, and the surprising lessons she learned along the way. Attendees will walk away with tips on how to get their books or stories published, and inspiration to keep their literary dreams alive.

The fine folks at Foodies Fine Foods in Almonte sure seem to know what the public wants when it comes to dinner and a show. Nathan Sloniowski's The John Prine Experience on Friday, November 25 is NEARLY SOLD OUT. Keep an eye one the Foodies website for the announcement of some exciting shows planned for 2012, and then get your tickets early.

On Saturday night, the Folkus Music Series kicks off their 2011-2012 season with Royal Wood. Mr. Wood has been described as "a sober and spiffily cleaned-up Tom Waits" whose "chocolate-rich vocals" have "sealed his position as one of Canada's major talents." This is definitely a show not to be missed.

If you still have some energy left on Sunday, a visit to the Almonte Old Town Hall for Standing Room Only's Big Band Tea Dance is a great way to round out your weekend. These dances feature the classic sounds of a 15-piece big band joined by vocalist Sandy Faux. The dance runs from 1-4:30pm (doors open at 12:30).

Rob Riendeau

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