Nova Scotia·Photos

Mahone Bay's Father Christmas Festival turns town into fantasy land

A local businesswoman has turned an empty barn in Mahone Bay into a Nutcracker fantasy, in tribute to the classic holiday ballet.

Nutcracker Fantasy is at Suttles & Seawinds barn on Main Street

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      The town of Mahone Bay in Nova Scotia has embraced the Christmas season with a community wide celebration.

      Life-size handcrafted Father Christmas figures dot sidewalks along the main street, inviting the yuletide spirit. A local businesswoman has turned an empty barn into a Nutcracker fantasy, in tribute to the classic holiday ballet.

      Vicki Bardon is the creator responsible for Nutcracker Fantasy and with a few dozen volunteers, she's created two floors of magic in her Main Street barn.

      The journey starts with the composer of the Nutcracker himself, Tchaikovsky.

      "How toys or dreams come to life — that really is the fantasy," Bardon said.

      "To be able to come up with something that makes you get that feeling of Christmas and certainly the Nutcracker always does that for people."

      In the living room, a sleeping Clara clutches a broken toy. Mahone Bay residents donated toys to recreate the shop where Drosselmeyer fixed the Nutcracker.

      The tableau also features the Mouse King, Sugar Plum Fairy, costumes, music and light displays.

      Susan Nauss, a volunteer, said it was fun coming up with ways to make the nutcrackers.

      "These are two garbage cans joined together to make one. A local welder did the crown for us and then try to make a garbage can look like a Nutcracker," she said, laughing.

      It costs $5 to tour the display and proceeds go to the Mahone Bay Chamber of Commerce.

      There's also plenty to see for free on the streets of Mahone Bay with the Father Christmas Festival. Dozens of local businesses and residents have crafted life-size Father Christmas figures.

      On Saturday, the town will come to life with carollers along the main street and horse drawn wagons complete with Christmas bells.

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