Only two more sleeps until Winterfest!
That’s right! Only two more sleeps until the city’s premiere holiday hoopla Friday night, an event designed to delight all ages and kick off the holiday season in Castlegar.
It all starts at 5:30 p.m. with the Rec Rockers (dancers between the ages of three and five) taking the stage to wow the crowds and warm them up for the really big show, the Parade of Lights, which starts at 6 p.m.
Audrey Maxwell-Polovnikoff, a member of the organizing committee, said the parade should include at least 25 entries this year, making it the biggest and best yet.
“This is a really magical thing we have here,” she said. “Everyone loves it, and it keeps growing and becoming more spectacular.”
Parade’s end, roughly 6:30 p.m., will see Mayor Lawrence Chernoff presiding over the big countdown to the Christmas Tree/Spirit Square light-up, followed by a fun community gathering designed to bring people together in sharing the warmth of the holidays despite the cold weather.
Santa and Mrs. Claus will get pride of place in the foyer of City Hall by the massive tree, where they and their elves will greet children, hear wishes, get hugs and hand out goody bags – the first 250 children will get commemorative cloth bags, but if more than that show up, there will certainly be lots of goody bags and treats for everyone.
“The Twin Rivers Community Choir will be performing outside, and there will be strategically-placed burn barrels where attendees can warm up, meet each other, and share the occasion,” said Maxwell-Polovnikoff.
“New this year, we have Kootenay Snowshoeing on hand to let you try on snowshoes or even get a little lesson in the craft, and Cute As A Button will have a neat photo booth with props and such, where you can get your photo taken and have it put on a button or magnet for just $5. It’s a lovely souvenir (and a great stocking stuffer for the grandparents).”
The Castlegar Lion’s Club and Hospice Society will be serving as vendors, proving both delicious eats and a chance to help excellent community causes, and Maggie’s Mug will remain open so revelers can get hot beverages and tantalizing treats to ward off the chill.
The Chamber of Commerce, in honour of kicking off the Christmas season, has invited all businesses across the community to stay open late Friday night so you can round out the night with a little holiday shopping, riding the tide of goodwill and community spirit as you discover the ways Castlegar retailers can help you pass the spirit along to everyone on your list.
For your convenience, a list of road closures will be provided on The Source in the City space (lower down on the righthand side of our front page).
While the Source would like to take bragging rights as an event sponsor, it would be unfair not to note that all local media outlets (Castlegar News, EZ Rock, The GOAT) have happily contributed to supporting Castlegar’s top-tier Christmas event, and special thanks go out to major sponsors Shaw Cable, Fortis BC and Zellstoff Celgar, along with many, many other contributors.