Red Deerians will have a chance to kick start their holiday spirit by taking part in the annual Red Deer Lights the Night event this weekend.
Presented by Stantec and hosted by the City of Red Deer, Downtown Red Deer and Red Deer Public Library, the event is free for the whole family to enjoy the evening of Nov. 18th.
The event takes place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will have a twinkling lights display, games and crafts for the kids and of course a visit from Santa.
There will also be food and drinks available.
“We’re working in partnership with the Downtown Business Association and they will have one of these huge tents sponsored by The Krossing, and they’re going to be providing food and alcoholic beverages, so it will be a licensed venue,” said Georgia Major, culture community development coordinator for the City of Red Deer.
The Association will also be providing a Winter Market on Ross Street, so people can also shop for handmade items and unique gift ideas. Cash is recommended for purchases.
“With the City end we are manning the stage which will have various components on that,” said Major.
Beginning at 4 p.m. is the range of activities within City Hall Park.
“We have a lot of family-focused activities. Some of them even include snowshoeing, candy cane ice fishing, so most of it is with a holiday focus.”
An art project will take place within the library and kids will also have an opportunity to write a letter to Santa.
Major said Stantec will be providing free popcorn and hot chocolate throughout the event.
At 5:15 p.m. everybody will come together for the lighting of City Hall Park, which will be done by the winner of a contest from one of the elementary schools. Mayor Tara Veer will be there to announce them.
“When people arrive at 4 p.m. the lights will not be on in City Hall Park. This is the introduction of the holiday season and how the park always looks so beautiful,” said Major.
At 6:15 p.m. they will have the lighting of Red Deer’s big Christmas holiday tree on the corner of Ross Street and 48th Ave. Following that will be a low-level fireworks display (weather permitting).
Major said the event originated years ago as the biggest Christmas tree event. She said at one point the City tried to do a Santa Claus Parade, but instead various ideas morphed into today’s current event.
“Instead of doing the parade the idea was to have more interactive and family activities occurring in the park and the partnership with the Downtown Business Association,” she said.
She added the event sees large numbers each time, with the fireworks display bound to see even more.
“I believe it can range, but it’s at least 5,000 to 7,500 people.”
The event is also a kick off for the Festival of Trees event, which occurs the following week.
The event will offer free parking at Sorenson Station.