The second annual Merry and Bright Christmas Festival in Boissevain on the weekend was able to host lots of people.

The inaugural program in 2020 was hampered by COVID-19 regulations and limited activities and crowd size.

“Last year we could only have five people at our Christmas Tree lighting and those restrictions were gone this year and it showed because we enjoyed a nice sized crowd at Friday night’s tree lighting” said co-organizer Christina Ducharne.

Saturday’s program included events like children’s activities, bingo, drive thru fund raising meal, artisans market, free matinee, Palliative Care memory tree, a small parade and Santa Claus.

Audrey Paschke is the other main organizer and she was happy to see so many people taking part in the festival.

“I’m calling the weekend wildly successful because there were so many people out and the weather also cooperated.”

Organizers were pleased the various activities were a hit with those taking part in the festival.

“We came a long way from last year. The downtown was really busy. It’s not that often you get to see that many people downtown. The theater had 105 people at the matinee show and a number of stores had people coming in and out and that was great to see” said Ducharme.

“Having this year and seeing the foundation of the celebration it gave us an idea of what we can do better to make improvements. I have a few things I’d like to tweak for next and I’m excited for 2022.”

Organizers said no question COVID-19 impacted their planning and turnout to this year’s program.

“One of the hardest things about planning for this year was finding programs that those who are vaccinated or not vaccinated could attend and be included. We did our best but it was a real challenge for us as an organizing committee.”

Ducharme and Paschke stressed the need for a Christmas celebration because it brings the community together.

“People are busy in the winter and this kind of just makes you stop and just enjoy your community a little more even in the colder months” said Christina Ducharme.