Plans are in place for a stellar annual Winter Lights Festival coming up Dec. 2, 3 and 4 in the city’s downtown core.
“Downtown welcomes all the local and extended communities to come and celebrate the season together,” says the BIA’s Kate Lines.
The three-day event begins Friday, Dec. 2 with carolling and late night shopping between 6 and 9 p.m.
In the old time tradition of mummering carollers will receive treats from participating businesses as they meander through the city streets that will be glittering with Christmas cheer, Lines says.
People can join Angela Sommer and her choir at 6 p.m. in the BIA parking lot at the corner of Third and Oliver Street or branch off on their own carolling in smaller groups, she says.
Maps showing the location of participating businesses will be available at the Lions Club’s hot dog and hot chocolate stand that will be set up at 327 Oliver Street for the evening and then again during the Santa Parade Saturday morning.
The Santa Parade winds through downtown between 11 a.m. and noon, Saturday, Dec. 3.
Christmas floats will muster at Seventh Avenue and Borland Street then wind along Borland and Oliver streets to First Avenue.
Several trees along the downtown route will be filled with warm “woollies” — scarves, mitts, and toques for people who need them, provided by the Community Arts Council of Williams Lake.
“People watching the parade can pluck a scarf from a tree to keep warm,” Lines says. “The end of the parade is the beginning of fun downtown!”
She says children and families can visit with Santa and be entertained by Christmas characters from the Studio Theatre improv group at CJ’s Restaurant from noon to 2 p.m.
Families can also visit the library from noon to 4 p.m. for Christmas story performances and Christmas book displays.
Saturday families can also visit the Potato House for photos with Santa and hot apple cider by donation between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Visitors can also make their own hot chocolate bag at The Realm of Toys, “the perfect stocking suffer!” Lines says.
“All the while Midday Madness will be exploding throughout downtown’s participating stores and gleeful shoppers can pick up Christmas gifts for awe-inspiring savings,” Lines says.
The festival wraps up on Sunday with downtown businesses providing free skating at the Cariboo Memorial Complex from 1 to 4:15 p.m. During the skate people can enter draws for prizes that will be on display.
“What could be more lovely than skating with your friends and family and winning a few prizes donated by downtown businesses?” Lines asks. “The Sunday skate is a chance for downtown to give back to, and to celebrate, our wonderful community.”
“Everyone downtown wants to thank our local and extended communities for their patronage and support year round.”
The Winter Lights Festival is provided by the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area Association (BIA), City of Williams Lake, Cariboo Regional District Williams Lake Library, Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society, with support from Downtown businesses, CJ’s Southwestern Grill, Lions Club, Potato House Sustainability Society, Community Arts Council of Williams Lake and The Realm of Toys.