The tiny town of Sparkyville pops up in 89-year-old’s living room for 35th Christmas

Ann de Jong is the chief planner of the model village

Welcome to Sparkyville.

This picturesque mountain village is home to farms, a church, an ornate mosque, a towering windmill, two outdoor skating rinks and a brand new shopping mall.

Never heard of it?

Maybe that’s because Sparkyville pops up once a year at Christmas time on large tables in Ann de Jong’s living room on the Matsqui Prairie. A white table cloth serves as a snowy earth; model homes, buildings and human figurines populate the town; a wooded mountain range even stretches over de Jong’s couch.

The 89-year-old has engineered the growing town over 35 years, adding new buildings, town squares, roads and people as years go by.

In homage to the local outlet closing, de Jong installed a Sears location in 2017 and laid out an entire shopping mall around it on the Sparkyville outskirts – the corner of one table.

De Jong says she enjoys the process of reconstructing and expanding Sparkyville every fall but what she most looks forward to is the reaction from its visitors – the young tourists are her favourite.

“As children come, they see every little detail,” she says. “They sit on their knees and they look in the house and I get so much enjoyment out of it.”

Sparkyville is named after Sparky, a since deceased pet bird. Like its name, almost every element in town has a backstory – the mosque is out of respect for Abbotsford’s diverse community, while the windmill honours Holland, de Jong’s country of origin, and a First Nations settlement acknowledges the area’s original inhabitants. Mr. and Mrs. Claus even call Sparkyville home – their cottage is a favourite among children, de Jong says.

Soon to enter her ninth decade, de Jong says she isn’t sure how much longer she’ll be able to maintain her position as chief planner of Sparkyville, but she plans to keep explanding and maintaing it each year, “so long as I can.”

Sparkyville stays in her living room until the end of January each year before being packed pack up into a series of large bins until next Christmas.

“To me, it is Christmas,” she says.


@KelvinGawley
kelvin.gawley@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Abbotsford mayoral candidate calls for DeLair baseball expansion

Eric Nyvall says Abbotsford needs baseball complex; Braun says city should stick with long-term plan

Abbotsford police ride the bus to target distracted drivers

Project Bus Ride also watches for other driving infractions

Preet Rai running for 4th term on Abbotsford school board

Rai notes a global perspective and experience working with youth through various organizations

Freddy Latham seeks 2nd term as Abbotsford trustee

The retired drama teacher notes extensive experience with the local arts community

UPDATE: One dead after serious crash in rural Abbotsford

Two trucks collide at an intersection on Sumas Prairie

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Freeland brings optimism back to NAFTA talks

NAFTA talks resume in Washington

BC Children’s warns of possible PayPal fraud

Recipients are asked to forward the emails to PayPal

Increased security, staffing changes coming to Colony Farms

Coquitlam Forensic Psychiatric Hospital to get new safety measures, stop patient-on-staff violence

Still too many B.C. seniors in care facilities, on drugs

Seniors Advocate watching use of antipsychotics, opioids

Police raid Langley home in search for ‘extremely violent’ murder suspect

Several law enforcement agencies were at a Willoughby home, hunting for a man charged with murder.

Officials: 3 killed in shooting at Maryland Rite Aid centre

FBI described the Aberdeen incident as an ‘active shooter situation’

The hunt for online herb: feds seek dope on hazy world of pot’s ‘cryptomarket’

In less than a month, Canada to be first industrialized country to legalize recreational marijuana

Despite protests, Russia’s anti-doping agency reinstated

On a 9-2 vote, the executive committee declared RUSADA as having satisfied conditions

Most Read