STE-ANNE-DE-BELLEVUE -- A group of volunteers have spent a year preparing to bring holiday cheer to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue’s main street.

The new Christmas Village in the city square comes complete with Christmas carols – a touch of cheer that residents say has been missing from the picturesque town for too long.

“In the winter you don’t come sit outside,” said Tammy Skjenna. “We’re trying to change that for people.”

The group of organizers includes several creative types who say they’re trying to start a new tradition, complete with decorating area businesses.

“We decided we’d do a tree for every merchant and we’d do lights for every merchant,” said Skjenna.

Trees soon expanded to Santa hats and even some make-believe reindeer.

It’s not just decorations; activities have also been planned like an elf hunt for kids that also serves to bring people into restaurants and shops.

“All the kids are trying to find elves in each location,” said Jim Beauchamp of Cunningham’s Bar.

Jenn Pragai, owner of Pragai Couture, said the hope is to recreate the experience that shoppers get in the summer.

“We wanted to recreate that nice walking experience they get,” she said.

The holiday spirit didn’t come without sacrifice but co-organizer Tracey McKee said it was a worthwhile endeavour.

“It’s been a big time commitment but today it feels like it was worth it,” she said.