Volunteers have been working hard to help beautify High River with Christmas spirit. Christmas time is already approaching!
Light up George Lane Park and the 33rd Annual Santa Parade will be on Dec. 6 this year and volunteers have been busy putting up lights in George Lane Park in preparation for the big day.
The official kick-off of the Lights ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. on Dec. 6 where all the lights will be turned on. The Santa Parade will start at 6:30 p.m. There will be hot chocolate and fire pit stops set up throughout the parade route, which is essentially all of downtown High River. After the lights are lit, guests can check out the Inclusion Foothills Winter Market which will be at the Highwood Memorial Centre (the market is open 12-9 p.m. on Dec. 6 and 10-3 p.m. on Dec. 7). The Nativity Exhibit at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will also be available for guests to come and see on this day (from 10 a.m. -10 p.m.)
Just south of the Memorial Centre will be a stage where Jody Seeley has been organizing entertainment that will be playing caroling, and music until the parade starts at 6:30 p.m. Mayor Craig Snodgrass will also be present on stage to turn the key that will turn the lights on in the park.
This year, a skating rink has been built in George Lane Park for people to enjoy and this will be a great time to walk through the park and check it out if you haven’t already.
This is one of the most special days of the year for High River and definitely brings with it the feeling of Christmas.
This year, the parade has changed a couple things to make things safer for everyone involved. Candy will not be thrown, but given out by people walking or there will be treats bagged hot chocolate stations. Some will still be given out during the parade, but the best way to get treats is to visit the hot chocolate stations. The float sizes have also been reduced to a maximum width of 9 feet allowed.
Chairman for both events, Ted Dawson says it’s going to be another exciting year.
“Last year we had 92 floats in the parade and we expect around the same, or more this year,” he said.
Dawson says the deadline to register your float for the parade is Nov. 25. There is no charge for folks to enter the parade.
“Go to https://highriver.ca/christmas and that will give you all the rules for the entry forms,” he said.
Volunteers have been changing and putting up light bulbs, 5,600 light bulbs have been replaced this year.
“The light display will be bigger this year,” said Dawson.
“We’ve added archways along the walkway between the Chiropractor Office and the playground in the park and we hope to expand that. And we also put lights around the skating rink.”
The Skating rink is currently being flooded by the town (or soon will be) and it should be ready in the next week or so for families or individuals to come and enjoy some skating.
Light up George Lane Park began in 2014. It was an initiative of the Rotary Club of High River. Ted Dawson has been chairman of the Santa Parade the Light up George Lane Park committe and he thought that putting up displays at George Lane Park would be a great compliment to the Santa Parade.
There are a lot of volunteers and organizations and donors that help keep the event going.
“Each year we have been able to add more lights thanks to donations from the Rotary Club, Lions Club, Kinsmen Club and community donors,” said Dawson.
Dawson wanted to thank everyone who has supported the event and helps make it what it is and has an important message for everyone.
“It’s an evening parade in December, in Alberta. Dress warm,” he said.