A Christmas wonderland sparkles like a jewel in the crown of a town that has centuries of seafaring history. Thousands of LED lights are wrapped around the branches of the tall ancient trees in Yarmouth's Frost Park. Giant presents are stacked at the base of the 150-year-old, three tier fountain, draped in a mantle of gauzy brightness. Even the gazebo, where Th'YARC's strolling carolers charm the crowds, beams golden in the landscape.
The annual lighting of Yarmouth's town hall Christmas tree and Frost Park draws hundreds of residents in late November.
In June, at prom time, the park is a destination for lovely ladies in long dresses with their handsomely turned-out escorts. Bridal parties pose beneath the majestic trees or lean over the rails of the compass rose observation deck overlooking the harbour.
The new Lost to the Sea memorial, which lists over 2400 names of individuals connected to Yarmouth County who lost their lives to the sea, is located just up Water Street from the park.
The annual Ghost Tour departs from Frost Park each summer during Seafest in July. What better place to start than from a graveyard? From the 1760s onward, Frost Park was used as a public burying ground. In 1861 Yarmouth Mountain Cemetery was laid out as a replacement and some of the bodies were moved to the new plot. Frost Park was developed in 1887. Headstones can still be found in the park and ghost stories live on.
In 2003 a woman discovered a man in period costume in her photo that she didn't remember being there when she snapped the picture.
The park was originally named for Queen Victoria and renamed in 1958 to honour Charles Sydney Frost, a distinguished native son who became president of the Bank of Nova Scotia. A large wooden statue of Queen Victoria was added in recent years, carved by former Yarmouth County resident, Bill Thibeau.
A story that resurfaces each holiday season ties Frost Park with the song "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas." The Grand Hotel overlooks Frost Park and a former bellhop recalls a man from 60 years ago that he believes was Meredith Willson, the composer who wrote the music and lyrics for the classic tune.
A walk in this beautiful park, illuminated by lights that twinkle and gleam throughout the Christmas season, is an experience that won't soon be forgotten.
Click here for a beautiful photo album of Frost Park after a snowfall by Vanguard associate editor Tina Comeau.
Click here to watch the video below on Youtube.