Child handling snake.

Pape Village rings in season with music, cookies — and spiders

Santa, reptile handler among attractions at winter fest

The Pape Village BIA celebrated the season with a winter festival featuring everything from snakes to Santa.

The event was held Dec. 2 at Bethany Baptist Church at Pape and Cosburn Avenues. Children performed seasonal songs on piano, guitar, violin and other instruments, while seniors danced to live accordion music.

Blair Watson from Reptilia, an attraction in Vaughan that bills itself as “Canada’s largest fully indoor reptile zoo,” entertained with his reptiles and spiders. Kids, he said, usually love to touch snakes and spiders.

“If they grow to be an adult before they get a chance to touch them, that’s where they develop fear,” Watson said.

More than 500 people enjoyed cookie decorating, face painting, arts and crafts, live entertainment, and getting their picture taken with Santa Claus.

The Pape Village BIA, represents about 100 businesses on Pape Avenue from Mortimer to Gamble avenues, holds the winter festival each year on the first Saturday of December.

“We all volunteer our time to help make the community better,” said Charleen Beard, secretary of the BIA.” We help to beautify the area by putting plants, as well as extra benches, on the street, and help clean the area.”

Toronto-Danforth MP Julie Dabrusin was there to watch her friends’ children  playing the piano. She said the Bethany Baptist church is different each time she’s there, adding there are days when it draws more seniors and other times when it’s full of kids.

“To me that shows how wonderful a hub this location is for the community,” Dabrusin said.