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Here’s how candy canes turned Aberdeen, Sask., into a winter wonderland for Christmas

Click to play video: 'Here’s how candy canes turned Aberdeen, Sask. into a winter wonderland for Christmas' Here’s how candy canes turned Aberdeen, Sask. into a winter wonderland for Christmas
WATCH: A new project saw 300 blank candy cane displays handed out around town; from there, the decorations began – Dec 11, 2020

Taking a drive through the town of Aberdeen, you’ll see it’s a lot more festive than usual, with more elaborate decorations popping up on people’s front lawns as they’re forced to stay home amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The town has turned into a winter wonderland, and it all started as an initiative by the former mayor.

Renee Reimer Horner gave out 300 blank wooden candy canes for people to decorate however they wanted.

Read more: Saskatoon family builds giant ‘Frosty the Snowman’ to spread Christmas cheer

Kyle MacDonald spent about 20 hours building his own candy cane themed pub on his lawn. You can see his family eating on ice seats with their own pillows, or someone being served pop or the house specialty “polar ice” by an inflatable mouse.

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Kyle MacDonald took the candy cane theme and turned it into a candy cane pub. Gabriela Panza-Beltrandi, Global News

“I love it,” said MacDonald, talking about the spur of displays around town.

“It’s been a tough year and not a lot to smile about, so to see the community come together and put this on and make it happen and has just kind of been growing the past could weeks, it’s great.”

Reimer Horner came up with the idea after her construction company had extra wood from the season.

She gave out candy canes for free, but says community members raised nearly $1,000 through the project to give to local Christmas hampers.

At her own house, she has a landing pad made out for Santa’s arrival. She said she’s blown away by what others have done with the candy canes.

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“You’ll see like anything from finger-painting to hockey displays on them,” she said.

Read more: Huge blue snow dragon providing photo-op joy to Saskatoon residents

A local artist even got in on the fun, painting four candy canes and hiding them around town for people to find. Those who do then must guess what Christmas carol inspired the candy cane’s artwork.

Angela Snell and her father, John Marissen, live next door to each other and have put up displays for years.

They said they’re excited to see so many new displays out, especially this holiday amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Marissen turned his front yard into a snow carving of Santa and his reindeer, while Snell built a large, multi-coloured fort for kids to play in.

“We had one lady who told me she walked by and saw it and didn’t want to celebrate Christmas, and then she went home and said, ‘we’re getting a tree now and we’re doing this’,” Snell laughed.

Read more: Saskatoon high schoolers go viral with COVID-19 cover of ‘Crabbuckit’

Marissen said he’s noticed more people taking walks at night to check out the abundance of displays around town.

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“It’s inspired a lot of people,” he said. “Especially with this COVID-19 and all that, it puts a lot of smiles on people’s faces.”

The décor is so good, Rudolf, Prancer and Santa will roll through town Saturday afternoon between 3 and 5 p.m., ahead of fireworks.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out. In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

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