Abu Dhabi: Dec 8 was a joyous and memorable day for the parishioners of St. Joseph’s Parish - Abu Dhabi, as they ushered in the joyful Christmas season at the Christmas Bazaar 2017 in true Christmas spirit of sharing and caring. It was a spectacular event with festivities galore, held on the church grounds, packed with a variety of events and traditions from around the world upholding the theme ‘Joy to the World’.
The tall Christmas tree bedecked with colorful tinsels set around the theme ‘Joy to the World’ and a beautiful crib at the entrance was a welcome scene.
Santa Claus’s entourage made an early entry this year at 9.00 am as they zoomed in on a fleet of motor bikes amidst great cheer and excitement making it such an exhilarating entry! It was a thrilling and fun filled scene to watch Fr. Johnson and Fr. Troy riding pillion on motorbikes along with Santa. They were welcomed amidst the gathering with a hearty applause. Santa Claus conversed and wished the parishioners ‘Merry Christmas’ in many different languages which added to the excitement and happiness of the multinational parishioners.
Rev. Fr. Johnson - Parish Priest, extended a warm welcome to the gathering. Rev. Fr. Troy de los Santos - Vicar General, inaugurated the bazaar on behalf of His Excellency Bishop Paul Hinder. The priests and sisters of the parish and the representatives of the church council attended the inaugural ceremony which saw a gathering of a huge number of parishioners.
The bazaar was flagged off by a lively dance performed by the children of the church summer camp, followed by a colorful and traditional Korean dance and music which set the right mood for the Christmas festivities. A display of outstanding talents throughout the day from various groups performing on stage was a visual treat. A team of outstanding masters of ceremonies lead by Roydon D’mello, kept the day’s entertainment rolling with their upbeat and lively announcements.
The stalls were beaming with activities. Each demonstrated a unique and magical Christmas cheer by way of either conducting exciting and challenging games or hourly draws of lucky prizes. The game stalls included games like balloon surprise, pick n win, wheel of fortune, basketball, billiards, and breaking the pyramid among many others. There were stalls selling colorful balloons and toys for kids. One could even click a photo with Santa. Special T-shirts were printed for the occasion.
Food stalls served the best of traditional delicacies from around the world. The stalls were aesthetically decorated transformed the church premises into a Christmas wonderland! People thronged the food stalls to experience the culture and taste from around the world. Food ranged from Italian, Spanish, French, Sri Lankan, Pilipino, and Korean to Pakistani, Arabic, African, Ukrainian and Indian. There was a wide range of authentic Indian food from the Malayalam, Tamil, Goan, East Indian and Mangalorean communities. Most of the food was cooked in the homes of generous volunteers so it made the taste extra special.
There were special prizes announced for the best decorated stall, the most customer friendly stall and the most popular stall.
A play zone with interesting activities was set up for children in the parish hall. Various competitions were conducted to make the day memorable for the youngsters. They could choose to participate in a variety of activities, ranging from music and dance, drawing competition, face painting and nail art, to bouncing castle and life size snakes and ladders. The biggest attraction was the ‘Minute to Win It’ which attracted a lot of participants.
It was a great sight to see the the young and old alike, enjoying at the various stalls. One could witness the happiness and expressions of joy on meeting friends and relatives. The air was filled with merriment. One could see people just relaxed and having a great time. The Christmas Bazaar was indeed a great opportunity of relaxation and enjoyment coupled with sharing and caring.
The organizers were absolutely thrilled with the number of visitors at the bazaar which signaled its enormous success. The bazaar has been growing from strength to strength every year, thanks to the support of the church management, the generous sponsors, the hard work put in by the committee behind the event, the volunteers and the various groups who worked relentlessly at the stalls. Such a display of exceptional selfless toil by all for a great cause!
The bazaar concluded at 10.00 pm amidst great excitement for the grand draw of prizes. The biggest prize of all was a Nissan X Trail. Dolphy Vas, the coordinator of the bazaar expressed his heartfelt thanks to all for their generosity in making the event a great success. People surely went home with after an unforgettable experience.
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