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From sleigh rides to turkey stags, there have been many local holiday traditions

The season has always showcased different festivities
An unidentified group of people attending a Christmas costume party.

The holiday season brings many different traditions! Timmins is a very multicultural place — by 1927, there were over 27 different nationalities present in the community.

Christmas time held many different festive events. There were sleigh rides, parades, parties at all the different halls and clubs, Schumacher’s annual gift-giving to the children in the community and so much more. 

In 1917, over 700 children received sleigh rides across the city’s downtown. In 1941, there was a veteran’s children's Christmas party. The children of those serving overseas in the Second World War were given a holiday party with Santa, gifts, food and games. 

One very memorable event was the annual turkey stag. Beginning in 1922, the stag was hosted to raise money to make Christmas boxes to give to those in need across the district. Every year there were unique and funny games that everyone looked forward to. One such event was “Mustacherino” – meaning a contest for those with anything that would grow anywhere on the face, so long as it was hair it counted. Prizes were awarded to the top winners. 

In 1927, headlines in the papers covered the transportation of over 800 turkeys to the city for the annual event. That year also included a spaghetti-eating marathon. The winner was the one who could eat the most spaghetti in seven minutes. First prize was a $50 suit of clothes and $25 in gold. Second prize was a $25 fancy-dressed hog and $15 in gold, and third prize was an $8 little pig and $10 in gold. Fourth and fifth prize was a $7 turkey. 

By 1929, over 500 turkeys were given away as prizes!

The Timmins Museum: National Exhibition Centre regularly provides TimminsToday readers with a glimpse of the city’s past.

Find out more of what the Timmins museum has to offer here and read more Remember This columns here.