Making sunny memories: Christmas tree farm opens this weekend

 It’s Christmas in July at the Puddleford Tree Farm near Chatham, Ont. where sunny memories can be made this weekend with thousands of bright yellow sunflowers.

The Christmas tree farm is open to the public this weekend for a fundraising event starting Friday afternoon. A $5 per vehicle donation will allow people the chance to walk through the sunflower field and take pictures.

Sunflowers will also be on sale, with some of the proceeds going toward the Chatham Alzheimer’s Society.

Organizers say the recent heat and rain made the flowers grow faster than expected, saying there may be more weekend opportunities, should the flowers persist.

Last holiday season, the Christmas tree farm sold out of trees within 3 days, with the owners hoping the same enthusiasm can be matched this weekend.

The event runs between 1-5 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

“Just to spread some sunshine with all of the COVID that’s going on," says Puddleford Tree Farm’s Gail Whitney. 

She says this weekend’s event was inspired following last year’s holiday season, when Christmas trees sold out in 3 days due to pent up pandemic demand.

“We noticed at Christmas time when everybody came to get Christmas trees, that everybody was so happy to get outside and enjoy some fresh air, we thought, what can we do to get people outside again.”

Whitney tells CTV News this inaugural fundraiser will be near and dear to the family.

“My father passed away in August of last year. He had a lot of memory issues, never really diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, but, I could see what his memory loss did to my family.”

Whitney says there could be potential for more weekend fundraising events should the weather hold out and the sunflowers stay fresh. “We thought we would be doing Christmas in August, but with all the heat and sunshine and the rain, we’re doing July!” Whitney adds, “We’ll just have to wait and see.”