Students and staff at Gananoque Intermediate and Secondary School created these new “selfie stations” as Candy Cane Lane at Town Hall Park in Gananoque. Keith Dempsey/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)

There are some new features in Candy Cane Lane at Town Hall Park in Gananoque, thanks to students and staff at Gananoque Intermediate and Secondary School.

The features are photo ops, or “selfie stations,” as town staff refers to them, one designed as a family of snowmen, the other as Santa Claus and an elf.

“With our Festival of Lights, this is our third year doing it, and we’ve tried incorporating as many community partners as possible, so the chamber, the BIA, the town, the Lions and Rotary Clubs have always been supportive, and for the last couple years we’ve included the  schools – Linklater Public School, St. Joseph Catholic School, Thousand Islands Elementary, out in Lansdowne, deliver wood rounds,” said Amanda Trafford, the town’s economic development and cultural heritage co-ordinator.

“The kids decorate them, we pick them up and put them on all the sponsored trees. It’s really cute to see kids running through Candy Cane Lane trying to find their rounds. It’s awesome. And when they find it, they get so excited.”

Every year town staff tries to incorporate new ideas into Candy Cane Lane. This year, the town included Gananoque Intermediate Secondary School, thanks to a connection with a teacher at the school – Sam Crosby, who is the youth co-ordinator, community outreach and social media guru for the Gananoque Pride Alliance.

Not only is Town Hall decorated, but so too is Town Hall Park, with many decorated trees, candy canes, and other holiday season fixtures. (Keith Dempsey/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)

The students who took part in this initiative were not from a single class. Students from a variety of grades participated, said Trafford.

“She connected us with the art teacher and the shop teacher, so we had wood that was donated by Marble Rock Developers, delivered from Home Hardware to the shop class, and the kids cut out the ‘selfie stations,’ as we call them,” said Trafford.

“The kids cut it out, other students painted. We sent them rough ideas of what we wanted them to look like, and they made it come to life. They did such a good job.”

The community has shown its holiday spirit and has embraced everything Candy Cane Lane has to offer, along with the many activities the town has put together throughout December, like Santa in the Park, Trafford added.

“It’s been pretty amazing,” said Trafford. “There’s been a lot of support from the community.”

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