McAdam – Visitors travel from as far away as Halifax to see the historic McAdam Railway Station all dressed up for the festive season, and this year’s Christmas at the Station will take place starting Thursday, Nov. 16 through Sunday, Nov. 19.
The event is a fundraiser for the McAdam Historical Restoration Commission, and last year more than 3,000 people stopped by to enjoy hot apple cider and chicken bones, donated by Ganongs, as they toured the building.
Elsie Carroll, who heads up the decorating committee, said all 10 areas through the station are decorated either by individuals or companies such as the Briggs and Little Woollen Mill, Fredericton Inn, and Mayor Ken Stannix, and his wife Kate.
The outside of the station will be decorated with 15 Christmas trees this year, and Carroll said these are being decorated by various different groups and organizations.
These include the McAdam Community Action Group, McAdam Lions Club, Tabitha’s Comfort Quilts, McAdam High School Student Council, Scotiabank, Corey’s Independent Grocery, Lakeland Industries, the St. Croix division of the PC Party, plus the offices of Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage John Ames, and New Brunswick Southwest MP Karen Ludwig.
“Last year we had around 3,000 visitors, and the year before it was between 3,000 and 4,000. It is an amazing event. People cannot imagine it. Last year Ganongs donated packages of chicken bones for each visitor.”
The station will be open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day. Carroll said there is no set time to arrive, and visitors can walk through as many times as they like as they won’t see everything on one trip.
“Everything is so different. People have some great ideas. It is amazing. The lunch counter is decorated to commemorate an historical event that happened at the station. This year, it is themed around Canada 150.
“This is our ninth year for doing it. It is a good fundraiser for the station – one of the biggest. All the money goes into the restoration of the building. There is always a project.”
Heating the station is costly, said Carroll, and the bill in January, February, and March is between $5000 and $6000 a month.
“We have a lot of fun doing this and everyone who takes part really enjoys it. People who live near the station get their lights put up early so the community is taking part. It has become a great community project. We have a lot of volunteers who step in and help us.”
Saturday will probably be the busiest day in the village, said Carroll, as there is also the Lions Club Christmas craft fair and, in the evening, the Santa Claus parade.