Christmas comes alive in Torrington



The Christmas bell tinkle from a horse-pulled wagon meandering by with its blanketed passengers of children and parents, crossing the path of sun-sparkling on frost-laden trees was the vista, not of a Norman Rockwell painting, but of Torrington this past Saturday, Dec. 4 as the community celebrated its 5th annual sleigh ride and Christmas event.
Barrie and Bernie's Diner sponsored the event in its entirety for the first couple of years but the more recent years have seen an increase in the giving Christmas spirit with donations from the community of time, baking, and funds. The Lions/Lioness clubs and other groups have contributed and an unexpected donation from EnCana actually sponsored a magician for entertainment this year and Tim Horton's provided some Timbits.
The day's events started with some snacks at the diner at 11:30, a one-hour magic show at noon, followed with free hot dogs, snacks and hot chocolate. Price of admission was an item for the food bank, which in the end overflowed its boxes. The horse-pulled wagon, courtesy of Brian Leischner, made numerous trips up and down the wintery road with its passengers quietly enjoying the magic of hoar frost and sun.
All the events were well attended, so crowded in fact, that people were spilling out of the diner's entrance. "Last year we had all the tables and chairs filled, but no one had to stand, so there was definitely an exceptional turnout this year."
No matter, Santa arrived at 2:00 pm and he made sure there was a gift for every little girl and boy, with not a naughty child in sight. Presents were given out to 88 children. "Our first year we had 104 and then we dropped to 85 and 60. Last year brought us bad weather and only 50 children but we are back up again for this, our 5th annual event."