Merry Christmas from the Royal Hotel


Wellington Avenue – Christmas Past

Test your knowledge of all things Christmas with this seasonal quiz. You will find the correct answers below.

1. In the seasonal movie, “White Christmas” starring Bing Crosby, what are Bing and his buddies trying to save?
2. In Canada, Santa has his own postal code. What is it?
3. In 1882 Clement Moore penned a poem for his family, “A Visit from St. Nicholas”. What was this iconic Christmas poem renamed?
4. In the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” what is the angel’s first name?
5. 5.8 million litres of this festive beverage are commercially sold each year. Name the drink.
6. Name the two reindeer mentioned in the Christmas song “Here comes Santa Claus”.
7. In what country did the poinsettia originate?
8. The tradition of exchanging gifts started in which country?
9. In the 1930’s the Addis Brush Company manufactured their first artificial brush tree using the same machinery that made what type of brushes?
10. Which country is the largest exporter of Christmas trees?
11. Name the TV series that opened in 1971 with an episode called “The Homecoming-A Christmas Story”.
12. In the Christmas television special “A Charlie Brown’s Christmas”, who is the director of the Christmas play?
13. Who narrated the original 1966 TV show “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”?
14. What does Alvin want for Christmas in the “Chipmunk Song”?

Need a quiet place to rest your head this holiday season? The Royal Hotel in historic downtown Chilliwack has cozy accommodations for you or your family this Christmas. Call the hotel to make your holiday reservations 1-888-434-3388.


Answers: 1. an Inn, 2. HOH OHO, 3. T’Was the Night before Christmas 4. Clarence 5. Eggnog 6. Vixen & Blixen 7. Mexico 8. Italy 9.toilet 10. Canada 11. The Waltons 12. Charlie Brown 13. Boris Karloff 14. A hoola hoop


New Years Eve at the Historic Royal Hotel

Follow these trend setters and invest in a massive clock face as your celebratory centrepiece #NYE #PillingersHire #Inspiration

• We traditionally sing “Auld Lang Syne” to herald in the New Year, but did you know that although written as a poem by Scottish poet Robert Burns in the late 1700’s the song was made popular by Canadian band leader, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, Dec 31, 1929.
• The first New Year’s Eve ball drop at New York’s Time Square happened on Dec. 31, 1907 to welcome in 1908. The ball, illuminated with a hundred light bulbs was created by an electrician after the city of New York banned fireworks.
• The southern California Tournament of Roses Parade and football games were initially held to celebrate California’s orange crops in the late 1800’s.
• English Bay’s polar bear swim has been held in Vancouver since 1920, making it the oldest and largest polar bear swim in Canada. On January 1, 2013 more than 2200 souls braved the icy waters of English Bay to participate in the annual event.
The Royal Hotel in downtown Chilliwack has been part of New Year’s celebrations a record 105 times. This year we are excited to offer a New Year’s Eve package that includes a gourmet buffet dinner, live entertainment by the party band Euphoria, , a midnight dessert buffet, champagne toast at midnight and accommodations for the night.
This all inclusive package (for two) is offered at $220.00 with a limited number of guest rooms available. Call the hotel to book this special package using the promo code “NYEV”. Dinner and show tickets are also available for $55.00 per person without accommodations. Book now to ring in the New Year at the historic Royal Hotel in downtown Chilliwack.


photo courtesy Chilliwack Museum and Archives

Oranges and Christmas – a Seasonal Specialty

   Photo courtesy of the Oppenheimer Group

For me, growing up in Vancouver, the sight and smell of mandarin oranges has always signalled the beginning of the holiday season. In the 1960’s the arrival of the small, sweet seedless oranges from Japan was a seasonal rite. As I recall, the first freighter of festive fruit from Japan, “Satsuma” oranges would be unloaded at the Port of Vancouver in the beginning of December. This was a big event – the orange shipment was greeted by Santa accompanied by traditionally garbed Japanese dancers as they welcomed the seasonal oranges. Local news cameras would capture the whole event on film and report on the fruits’ arrival on the six o’clock news.

Originally shipped in small wooden crates the oranges were individually wrapped in green paper. The design of the crates required the top slats pried off with a hammer before they could be unwrapped and eaten – but anticipation was part of the magic. And as kids we would attempt to peel the small fruits in one continuous piece – I must admit this is something I still do when no one is watching. Once empty the wooden crates could be re-used for a variety of purposes – toy or shoe storage, doll furniture or even stacked could stand in for a side table. Eventually these cool crates were replaced by lighter weight cardboard boxes that are still in use.

I found a great article from B.C. Agriculture in the Classroom, (courtesy of the Oppenhemier Food Group), that covers the history of the oranges. Well worth a read during this festive season.


Photo courtesy Chilliwack Museum and Archives

Chilliwack – A Foodies Paradise

Arugula, bison, corn, duck, endive, fennel, grapes, hops, ice cream, kale, leeks, mushrooms, nuts, onions, peppers, quince, raspberry, sausage, tomato, watercress, zucchini. Just a few examples from a to z (well almost) that show the variety of locally grown or produced foods available in Chilliwack.

Agriculture plays an important role in Chilliwack’s history. Blessed with a moderate climate, fertile alluvial soil and a steady supply of water, Chilliwack’s early pioneers quickly discovered the valley offered more than just a route to the 1850’s Gold Rush. With the excellent growing conditions offered in the valley, many of these settlers stayed on to farm.

Over the next one hundred years farming and food production continued to grow in Chilliwack as transportation routes to Vancouver expanded and farmers were able to move their products to the coast – first by paddle wheelers then in 1910 by train, when rail service from New Westminster to Chilliwack was established by the B.C. Electric Railway.

In the last ten years we have witnessed a huge growth in the local food movement. The “one hundred mile diet” made us scratch our heads and really start thinking about where our food was coming from – that plastic covered head of lettuce – how far did it travel before it hit the produce aisle of the grocery store? How is this affecting our climate and what can we do to change our way of shopping and eating? Consumers have become more informed and therefore more savvy when food shopping. And so the concept of buying and eating locally was born – or shall we say, simply re-awakened.

What are the benefits of shopping and eating local?
• Fresher food
• Increased food security – you know where you food came from
• Keeps money in the community
• Supports local farmers and helps protect farmland
• Creates employment
• Reduction in greenhouse gases generated by transporting food long distances
• Deeper connection to farmers and producers

And according to the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture 61,000 people are employed in the agri-food industry and in addition this sector’s revenue was valued at $11.7 billion in 2012.

Although by no means a complete list, a visit to Chilliwack would not be complete without indulging your foodie senses at:

• Canadian Hazelnuts
• Chilliwack River Valley Natural Honey
• Farm House Natural Cheese
• Happy Days Goat Dairy
• Honeyview Farms
• Magpie Bakery
• Smits & Co. Cheese
• Valley Sausage
• Verard Pork Farms Ltd.


Come for the food – stay for the warm hospitality at the historic Royal Hotel. We are happy to provide information and insight on all things Chilliwack.

Christmas Comes to Chilliwack


The Christmas parade returns to Chilliwack this year thanks to three local Rotary Clubs who have stepped up to organize the popular seasonal event. Renamed simply the Rotary Christmas Parade, the family focused festivities will be held this Saturday December 7th. The parade will meander through historic downtown Chilliwack traveling on both Wellington Avenue and Yale Road where children of all ages will no doubt be lining the sidewalks for an opportunity to catch a glimpse as Santa passes by.

Let’s take a look at a few fun facts about Christmas parades…..

• The first Eaton’s Christmas parade was held December 2, 1905 in Toronto. The annual Macy’s parade held in New York was apparently inspired by the Eaton’s parade.
• By the 1950’s the Toronto Eaton’s parade was the largest in North America.
• The first Macy’s parade occurred in 1924 in New York City.
• 3.5 million parade viewers line the streets of New York to take in the Macy’s parade each year.
• The Macy’s parade was televised locally in 1946 and nationally in 1947. Today around 50 million viewers enjoy the parade from the comfort of their homes.
• The entire parade sequence in the movie Miracle on 34th Street was shot during the actual Macy’s parade in 1946, with 14 cameras situated along the parade route to catch the action.

The festivities start downtown at 4 with lots of family fun, entertainment, a night market and food culminating with the parade at 7.

So, grab your mittens and toques and head to Chilliwack’s historic downtown on Saturday where the magic of the Christmas season begins.