(As published in the December 2015 edition of snapd Aurora)

It’s the end of the year, and we are all looking forward to the holidays and spending time with family and friends. Join us for Aurora’s Tree Lighting Ceremony on Wednesday, December 9 at Aurora Town Hall in the front courtyard starting at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy the festivities including caroling, tree trimming, reading stories with Mrs. Claus and more! Also, Ring in the New Year at Family First Night on Thursday, December 31 at the Aurora Family Leisure Complex starting at 6 p.m. There will be several children’s activities, some of which include crafts, face painting and reptile and magic shows. For more information on Town of Aurora events, please visit www.aurora.ca/specialevents.

I would like to thank all our residents and visitors for attending the Royal Canadian Legion’s Remembrance Day parade and events in Aurora. Our community is very supportive of our armed forces and veterans. It is inspiring to see residents come together to remember our fallen soldiers and those who are in active duty.

Also, thank you to everyone who attended Aurora’s Santa Under the Stars parade. The parade was a success with a variety of floats and entertainment. There is a lot of preparation and hard work that goes into this event. We appreciate the support from our sponsors, volunteers and staff. This parade is the largest holiday display in York Region and always entertains the large crowds.

The Town is also promoting pedestrian and driver safety for children traveling to and from school. Municipal lawn signs help remind drivers to be alert and drive slowly in and around school zones. Lawn signs are available for pick-up from Access Aurora, first floor at Aurora Town Hall. There is one lawn sign per household with a limited quantity available, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Support pedestrian safety and get your sign today!

During this festive time of year, I encourage all Aurorans to extend a helping hand to others in need. The Aurora Food Pantry has been distributing food at no cost to residents in Aurora and north Oak Ridges since 1990. Please donate monetary or non-perishable food items to Aurora’s Food Pantry and assist individuals and families in our community that are experiencing difficulties. For more information, please visit www.aurorafoodpantry.ca

Don’t miss the Dramatic Reading of a Christmas Carol with Music, a joint charity event between The Very Useful Theatre Company and Community & Home Assistance to Seniors (CHATS). This holiday-themed event focuses on a reading of the original Charles Dickens book. The event will be held on Sunday, December 6 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at New Hope Methodist Church located at 337 Queen Street in Newmarket.

For more details about upcoming special events in Aurora for 2016, please visit our Special Events Calendar at www.aurora.ca/specialevents. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up-to-date with information about Town related programs and initiatives or download our PingStreet App today from your Apple, Blackberry or Android devices.

Wishing you and your families a safe and happy holiday season!