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Red Deer Lights the Night gets residents into the holiday spirit

Free winter festival is on Saturday, Nov. 17th from 4 to 7 p.m.

Red Deer Lights the Night kicks off on Nov. 17th.

Running from 4 to 7 p.m., the free outdoor winter festival features the popular lighting of Christmas lights at City Hall Park at 5:15 p.m. It is followed by the lighting of Red Deer’s holiday tree at 6:15 p.m.

The free winter event is presented by Stantec and hosted by the City of Red Deer, the Downtown Business Association and Red Deer Public Library.

Red Deer Lights the Night is a nice way to start the holiday season said, Tara O’Donnell, culture superintendent with the City of Red Deer.

There will be free popcorn, hot chocolate and children’s activities, including the chance to visit with Santa Claus in the North Pole area, she said.

“The one thing different from last year is we don’t have fireworks planned,” she said.

Shining a light on local businesses, the HSBC Winter Market will feature eight vendors, including Wannawafel Red Deer, Luke’s Famous Jerky, Emjays Designs, HerbMasterz Inc., Close To My Heart and The Lefse Ladies. This is all taking place in the warming tent provided by the downtown restaurant, The Krossing.

Jessica Bernard, the Downtown Business Association’s event coordinator, said the market is unique because all the vendors are approved by the Alberta Farmers’ Market Association.

“To participate, you have to make, bake or grow it yourself, so it is not like any resellers,” she said. “It’s all unique local vendors.”

Bringing cash is recommended when shopping at the market.

Local entertainment is also a major attraction of Red Deer Lights the Night. The Red Deer Royals Marching Show Band and country artist, Alecia Aichelle, will provide live entertainment.

Free parking is available at Sorenson Station.

The next major holiday event is the Festival of Trees, which kicks off on Nov. 21st and runs until the 25th. It is the event’s 25th anniversary year.