PHOTOS: Winter Lights Festival delights lakecity

Santa Claus waves cheerfully from the back of a float in the annual Winter Lights Parade. (Patrick Davies-Williams Lake Tribune)
Gingerbread houses were on display to be judged in the window of Delainey’s Lock and Key as part of a contest being run by the Potato House. (Patrick Davies-Williams Lake Tribune)
Gingerbread houses were on display to be judged in the window of Delainey’s Lock and Key as part of a contest being run by the Potato House. (Patrick Davies-Williams Lake Tribune)
At Kit and Kaboodle owner Carl Johnson’s sister Ailine Johnson played the role of Mrs Christmas Tree for children looking for photos. (Patrick Davies-Williams Lake Tribune)
Tieryn Earnshaw tries out VR while her friends Kinzy and Kira Williams (front from left) and Lute Fine and Evelyn Lee( Back from left) look on from some couches set up in the Memory Den. (Patrick Davies- Williams Lake Tribune)
Friends Cassidy Owen and Emma Boehm prepare to bite into their freshly decorated sugar cookies they made at Poppy Home during the Winter Lights Festival. (Patrick Davies- Williams Lake Tribune)
Bee Savard and Elodie Aumond laugh together as they dry their custom made wrapping paper they made Pink Peony during the 2019 Winter Lights Festival. (Patrick Davies- Williams Lake Tribune)
Gavin and Molly Brown sell cupcakes made by Mint and Lime Catering in the Downtown Williams Lake parking lot. (Patrick Davies-Williams Lake Tribune)
Members of the Williams Lake Studio Theatre Society raise their voices in song to sing a few Christmas carols prior to the beginning of the Winter Lights Festival parade. (Patrick Davies- Williams Lake Tribune)
The executive board of Downtown Williams Lake smiles in front of the Christmas tree they will be lighting each year to mark the Winter Lights Festival. (Patrick Davies-Williams Lake Tribune)
Town crier Harry Jenning announces the arrival of the Winter Lights Festival Parade on Saturday night. (Patrick Davies- Williams Lake Tribune)
A horse-drawn carriage clatters down Oliver Street while taking part in the Winter Lights Festival Parade. (Patrick Davies- Williams Lake Tribune)
Lakecity locals young and old watch the parade go by Saturday night. (Patrick Davies- Williams Lake Tribune)
A CAT does doughnuts down Oliver Street in the Winter Lights Festival Parade. (Patrick Davies- Williams Lake Tribune)
One of many Christmas themed floats that paraded through the downtown core on Saturday night. (Patrick Davies- Williams Lake Tribune)
One of many Christmas themed floats that paraded through the downtown core on Saturday night. (Patrick Davies- Williams Lake Tribune)
One of many Christmas themed floats that paraded through the downtown core on Saturday night. (Patrick Davies- Williams Lake Tribune)
One of many Christmas themed floats that paraded through the downtown core on Saturday night. (Patrick Davies- Williams Lake Tribune)
Diego the dog was all dolled up in booties and a vest for the Winter Lights Festival Parade. (Patrick Davies-Williams Lake Tribune)
Santa Claus waves cheerfully from the back of a float in the annual Winter Lights Parade. (Patrick Davies-Williams Lake Tribune)

While the weather may not have been ideal, Williams Lake still came together to enjoy the Winter Lights Festival this Saturday.

Held each year to showcase all that the downtown of Williams Lake has to offer, the Winter Lights Festival tends to be a popular event for the entire community. This year, however, a persistent snowfall throughout the day made the streets and roads slick and slushy that seemed to keep many people indoors.

Despite this, the volunteers of Downtown Williams Lake and their associated businesses came together to hold a fun event for the whole community. Several businesses held fun Christmas themed family activities that dozens took part in prior to the Winter Lights Parade, or Santa Parade as it’s also known.

Overall, while there were definitely some challenges getting the parade together, Downtown Williams Lake’s executive director Jordan Davis and events co-ordinator Jasmine Alexander said they felt the event was a success. Davis said they were very excited by how the event had gone, especially by their inaugural tree lighting in the Downtown Williams Lake parking lot, an idea that came from volunteers Shay and Lee Dahl.

“We had an amazing time today, lots of businesses doing family activities, we had Starbucks here in our parking lot doing free hot chocolate and cake pops, we had Mint and Lime doing cupcakes,” Davis said. “Lots of people hanging out even though the weather is not great today, we were a little bit worried about people not coming down but lots of people came down here to watch the parade.”

Read More: Winter Lights Festival set to be a ‘community-wide Christmas party’

Davis said that they feel grateful by how things turned out and that Community Policing assisted them in setting up the parade route’s barricades. Alexander said that this year they really saw volunteers shine and really step up their game.

“I got to walk around and see a lot of interaction and people networking,” Alexander said. “I think Williams Lake continues to love this event and is willing to brave slippery roads to make it happen.”

In the future, she said they plan to make the tree lighting become a bigger event and promote an overall increase in creativity across the board. Alexander said they did have to evaluate the longevity of the parade this year but thankfully people came in at the “last second” to make it happen. She hopes that next year this last-ditch effort will not be required and that everything will run smoother.

“I think the big thing with the parade is that it’s such a community favourite but it only happens with the engagement of floats. I think this is just a reminder this year that community favourites only happen with engagement, a parade isn’t just fun it also functions as promotion for your organization. We’d love to see some new faces next year in the Santa parade,” Alexander said.

Both Alexander and Davis want to wish all of Williams lake happy holidays and encourages them to shop local and sustainable this year.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

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