By Darren Lum
Published Nov. 13 2018
Get into the holiday spirit with a comfortable pair of shoes and your best ugly sweater. Joyous runners and walkers of all ages will be travelling a route from the Haliburton Highlands Museum through Glebe Park and back in the upcoming sixth annual Ugly Sweater Run/Walk and Nostalgic Christmas.
Scheduled for Sunday Nov. 25 the event starts at 10 a.m. with registration and an opportunity to add to your ugly sweater with adornment options.
This joint effort between the Municipality of Dysart et al and the Haliburton Highlands Museum continues to be special to organizers Andrea Mueller recreation co-ordinator for Dysart and Haliburton Highlands Museum director Kate Butler who say it brings them joy and leaves everyone who participates with a smile on their faces.
Mueller has been an organizer from the beginning and has always welcomed feedback from participants such as perennial participant Joleen Thomas who walks and runs with her family. Mueller said Thomas calls this event a “Jolly Jog.”
“It’s fun right? It invokes that kind of jolliness and people are having fun. It becomes something that families are looking forward to doing. We have repeat visitors and people who are new coming out as well. It’s not a huge turnout. It’s not like we get hundreds of hundreds of people but it’s definitely community [oriented] fun and focused. It fits in because there are so many Christmasy things taking place at that time” she said. “You can be creative and get some exercise while you’re at it.”
Butler said she likes that the run brings people into the museum.
“We love the fact that people can come back to the museum afterwards. We can be a warm-up spot and we can build in some Christmas activities and kick off the holiday season” she said.
The four kilometre run/walk and sweater judging is at 11 a.m. There is also 1.5 kilometre run/walk option. New to this year’s event: the run/walk course heads west to Glebe Park and into Halbiem Crescent and returns. This direction came after organizers received feedback from participants who didn’t want to walk along or cross any busy roads such as Hwy. 118. At noon (or whenever participants return) the Nostalgic Christmas with crafts treats and celebrations “inspired by yesteryear” according to Dysart et al’s website will begin.
“Christmas really is so much built on nostalgia. The things you might remember doing yourself as a kid. You might not want to call that history. Nostalgia and those family traditions you bring back again and again” Butler said.
One example she said was a couple of years ago they recognized the 50th anniversary of the airing of the Charlie Brown Christmas special.
“Things like that that aren’t that long ago but do make people nostalgic in that way” she said.
This year the nostalgia component will be focused on history and traditions related to an international theme.
One example is the German origins of the gingerbread cookie including the development of the recipe.
This will also include an opportunity to learn more about Christmas and how it is celebrated by other cultures. At close to 12:30 the Christmas Trivia Challenge will start and offers teams of all ages that participate a chance to win prizes. Questions will vary from the basic to difficult.
There is no cost for participation in any of the offerings however donations will be gladly accepted. Proceeds will be given to the Elf Drive which provides families in need with gifts and food for the holidays held at J. Douglas Hodgson Elementary School.