There’s always a place to go and be with others in Maple Ridge on Christmas Eve.
The Christmas Haven takes place at the Arts Centre Theatre that day, beginning at 6 p.m.
The free event serves up Christmas dinner in the Genstar room and the lobby with turkey and all the trimmings for anyone who wants to attend.
“No registration is required. It’s from six until nine. The last meal is served at 7:30 p.m. There will be entertainment, face painting and music,” said Coun. Corisa Bell, who’s been volunteering at the Christmas Haven for nine years.”
It’s a casual affair where anyone, from anywhere, can drop in for the meal and share some company and good food.
“It’s just such an amazing evening,” Bell added.
“The whole concept is, it’s Christmas Eve, we don’t want anyone to be alone on Christmas Eve. It’s a pretty magical event.”
Kids are welcome and Santa and fun and games will be part of the event.
Bell said the Christmas Haven is funded by volunteer contributions from local businesses and individuals. About 250 to 300 people show up for the dinner.
About 50 volunteers put on the event.
Over the past three or four years, the composition of those who attend the Christmas Haven, has changed. Now, more seniors and immigrants attend, Bell said.
“It’s really a blend of the community that attends now.”
There’s also now a free taxi service for seniors who need help getting there.
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Cash donations for the event can be dropped off at the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre.