Harry Jennings

Harry Jennings

Children are welcome to join the Santa Claus Parade

Santa Claus Parade Friday kicks off the holiday season.

Happy Holidays from downtown Williams Lake.

The festive season starts this year with the Santa Claus Parade marching down Oliver Street this Friday evening, Nov. 18 starting at 6 p.m.

There will be lots of costumes from angels to reindeer. If you have a group of kids who would love to dress up and dance down the street in celebration of the season please call the WLCBIA at 250-398-5717 and get signed up right away with Rita Law. The parade will start in the parking lot of United Carpet and travel the sea of smiling faces smelling remarkably of candy canes and crisp winter air along Oliver Street ending at the Spirit Square at the corner of Oliver Street and First Ave.

Mom and dad should bring their cameras so they can take kiddie’s picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus while they whisper their secret wishes in Old St. Nick’s ear.

Craig Smith, from Aboutface Photography, will also be on site taking pictures of the young’uns while they pose with the sled dogs from Inharmony, for a minimum $2 donation — proceeds go to the Salvation Army Food Bank.

The Lion’s Club of Williams Lake will be serving burgers again this year and Mr. Tube Steak will be serving hotdogs while the Boys and Girls Club will be serving hot chocolate (by donation) so come early to get your evening meal.

Keep sipping cocoa to keep your insides warm and toasty while waiting for the Christmas tree light up at 7 p.m.

The countdown and anticipation to light up will be heralded by local musicians.

Horse and buggy rides will be touring the square courtesy of Cariboo Wagons and you can ride with the horses and listen to the sleigh bells chime all night long while visiting with friends and sharing stories of upcoming festivities.

Speaking of which, be sure to write on your calendar and make a date with friends to go shopping at the Medieval Market that opens the next morning Saturday Nov. 19 and continues on Sunday, Nov. 20.

In celebration of the Cariboo’s fantastic handicrafts and artists and in recognition of this essential Columneetza fundraiser, the WLCBIA has purchased 100 entry passes to the Medieval Market which will be handed out for free at the Spirit Square festivities to people who come dressed up. Santa hats are great but the better your holiday outfit the more tickets you can get for your family to get your Christmas shopping done early while supporting local artists.

While on the topic of shopping let’s not forget our local merchants in the downtown Williams Lake.

Starting Friday, Nov. 18 and going until Dec. 10 the Third Annual Stuffie Hunt will be waiting for you to play in participating downtown merchants.

Look thoroughly in local stores for the hiding stuffed animals who are waiting to be donated to the Christmas Wish Breakfast Wednesday, Dec. 14 at the Overlander banquet hall to the benefit of the Child Development Centre.

Get your stuffy clue list at the Christmas Magic Weekend Light Up in Spirit Square or at the WLCBIA office, and then visit downtown stores for special gifts and unique presents for your family and friends that the merchants of Williams Lake have brought specially for this festive season, all the while keeping a watchful eye out for those hiding stuffies.

Once you have completed your list of found stuffies and checked it twice please return it to the WLCBIA office for a chance to win Downtown Williams Lake shopping sprees valued   at $50, $100 or $150!

As always these events would not be possible without the cheerful and hardworking staff at the WLCBIA office downtown on the corner of Oliver Street and Third Avenue.

Thank you Judy O’Neil and Rita Law for your tireless contributions and great ideas.  If you can help us make this event a success by volunteering an hour of your time or would like to help organize it next year please call the WLCBIA.

Happy holidays from your friends Downtown Williams Lake. WLCBIA has been proud to create the Winter Lights Celebration for the third year in a row.

We would like to thank the volunteer board members, Willie Dye, Bobby Sunner and Sheila Mortensen.