Santa Claus is coming to our towns.
It is unclear exactly when Santa will be flying over Sutton Pass, but St. Nick has confirmed he will visit both
Ucluelet and Tofino on Dec. 10 to meet with locals and double check his West Coast wish-lists.
His day will start at a pancake breakfast in Ucluelet’s Community Centre from 8:30-10:30 a.m. where he will help local families kick into the holiday’s merriment while also helping Ucluelet Secondary School’s French Class raise money for its class trip to Quebec in May.
Students are hoping Santa’s visit will further fill their coffers and are enticing goers with a pancake breakfast that will include gluten free options and ham. The event will include entertainment with local youth dancers on tap to perform as well as a Kids Corner full of crafting possibilities.
The class’ teacher Rina Vigneault told the Westerly the class has been fundraising for about a year with the highlight so far being the recent poinsettia sale that brought in over $8,300.
She said the Quebec trip is important because it immerses students into the language and boosts their confidence as they realize they can carry on conversations in French.
“It’s important for the students to experience the French language in a real context. They feel the culture, they see how different the culture is, they learn about the history,” she said.
“It’s also for their future studies. A lot of students go back to Quebec. Some of them go back to study and live there, some continue to study French and it makes it a reality for them.”
She added it also supports the local tourism industry by helping to produce bilingual locals.
USS participates in the Quebec trip every two years and nine students are onboard for the educational experience this year.
After generating smiles from youth and funds for the French class, Santa will sail over the Pacific Rim Highway for another pancake breakfast at the Tofino Community Hall from 10 a.m.-noon to help the Tofino Recreation Commission raise money for its Kids Access Fund.
“I’m always excited to see Santa,” said Tofino mayor Josie Osborne adding she hopes to see a large crowd of locals come celebrate the season with each other.
“It’s a great place to connect and visit your neighbours…Everybody comes out and visits Santa and people are in a good mood. It’s already making me smile.”
She added tourists are welcomed to the holiday fun.
“We like Christmas and we like inviting people here and celebrating whatever their beliefs are this time of year and making them feel welcome and part of our community,” she said.
Admission to Tofino’s event is by donation and all proceeds will go to the Commission’s Kids Access Fund, according to the district’s recreation programmer Jess Towers.
Towers said the fund helps eliminate financial barriers between local youth and recreational participation.
“It goes directly towards supporting kids here in our community. Any money that you donate into it will go directly towards getting a kid into a recreation program,” she said. “Recreation is good for the community and it’s great for kids and it’s important that kids are able to get out, recreate, be social, be active and be happy.”
She echoed Osborne’s hope for a large turnout.
“It’s a part of getting geared up for Christmas and getting into the holiday spirit…It is nice to have these types of community gatherings when the days are shorter and the weather isn’t as accommodating,” she said adding Santa’s schedule is tight this time of year and he might not find time to visit again before sliding down local chimneys on Dec. 25.
“As far as I know, it’s the only stop that Santa’s making in Tofino. I haven’t heard about him showing up anywhere else so it’s pretty important if you want to get your wish-list in.”