Christmas at the Creamery is once again planned for Dec. 25 at the farmers’ market at Creamery Square. The dinner sees about 40 volunteers helping serve between 200 and 250 people in two different sittings – one at 12:30 p.m. and one at 2 p.m. – as well as about 80-100 deliveries. Submitted photo

Those looking forward to a Christmas dinner at the Creamy Square this year won’t be disappointed.

The 16th annual Christmas at the Creamery is well underway with preparations to serve close to 350 people.

“There are a couple of reasons we do this,” said Don Zorychta, one of the organizers of this year’s event. “One, it’s a community event, not just for charity. It’s for anybody who wants a Christmas dinner, from Tatamagouche, from Wallace, from River John, from Pugwash, and all the surrounding areas. And we want to make it a comfortable environment.”

To help with the costs of this year’s dinner, which has two sittings on Dec. 25 at the farmers’ market – one at 12:30 p.m., and the second at 2 p.m., a cake auction was held on Dec. 7. Twenty-five cakes, the majority of which were homemade, were auctioned off with the money going to the dinner.

“The auction was quite successful, despite the fact it snowed,” said Zorychta. “And we usually also have revenue from the day of – we put out a donation box and people leave what they want.”
Each year, the organizers prepare for at least 200 people, upwards of 250, for the sit-down meal, with deliveries available as well. Last year’s numbers were down slightly due to bad road conditions. The volunteers deliver anywhere between 80 to 100 meals.

“We always have lots of volunteers – for vegetable peeling, carving the turkeys, serving, and decorating the day before.”

The turkeys and vegetables will once again be cooked at the Tim Hortons Camp.

With the food covered at this point, Zorychta said they won’t say no to volunteers at the dinner itself.

“We have greeters who will greet the visitor, seat them, take their order, and deliver it,” he said. “That’s where we need volunteers the day of. A lot of people who come for the second serving will stick around and help us clean up. It’s not us asking them, it’s them asking if we could use a hand.”

While the sittings are set for 12:30 and 2 p.m., Zorychta said they won’t turn anyone away if they come between the sitting times. The times are in place to help the volunteers, so they don’t get an influx of people all at the same time.

“People can come and go,” he said.

The dinner will feature all the fixings of a turkey dinner – turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots, corn, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and rolls with butter. Cookies and squares from the Country Bread Basket will be available for dessert, and coffee, juice, and water will be available for drinks.

Donations of food aren’t needed this year, however financial donations are always welcome.

“Every year, we give donations back to the food bank, so the more donations we get, the more donations they get,” said Zorychta.

Anyone is able to pop by the dinner to make a financial donation, whether or not they decide to stay for the meal. Anyone wanting to make a donation but is not able to attend on the day of can contact Don Zorychta at 902-456-6433. If you would like to volunteer, call 902-305-1062 or email tataCATC@gmail.com.