Santa and Mrs. Claus visit with children during last year’s Winter Lights Festival and will be returning for this weekend’s festivities.

Santa and Mrs. Claus visit with children during last year’s Winter Lights Festival and will be returning for this weekend’s festivities.

Winter Lights Festival aglow

Downtown merchants and community groups are pulling out all the stops to make this year’s Winter Lights Festival more fun than ever.

Downtown merchants and community groups are pulling out all the stops to make this year’s Winter Lights Festival more fun than ever.

Organized by the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Association with help from various community groups and downtown businesses the festival runs Friday, Dec. 4, Saturday, Dec. 5, and Sunday, Dec. 6 all culminating with Midday Madness bargain hunting from 12-4 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Downtown merchants will be open late and on Sunday during the festival. A festival info book is available in downtown stores and at the BIA office. Event co-ordinator Kate Lines provides the following information.

FRIDAY, DEC. 4 (2 to 9 p.m.)

Festival Hub (BIA corner)

6:30 to 8 p.m.:  join the carol walk around the downtown core with Angela Sommer and the Angel Keys Choir.

2-7 p.m.:  Pick up your Winter Lights Festival information booklet; kids’ safety bracelets, and information on volunteer opportunities.

The Blue Fins Swim Club will be selling Christmas trees.

Take an ornament from the Angel Tree and use the card attached to buy a Christmas gift for a child in need.

Take a selfie next to the 1946 Fargo pick-up truck and warm up with a free cup of hot chocolate around a burn barrel.

Festival Family Centre, 80 Yorston

2-5 p.m.:  Lantern building – use them for carolling and for the Santa Parade.

2-7 p.m.:  Drop-in gingerbread house and Christmas treat decorating for kids

7-9 p.m.:  Drop in gingerbread house and Christmas treat decorating for youth and adults.

Festival Community Centre, 370 Proctor

2-9 p.m.:  This is festival centre for the Ugly Christmas Sweater Scavenger Hunt; Cakewalk Commercials; local entertainers; and hot food and drinks by donation provided by the Lions Club. A local baker will also be on site.

2-9 p.m.:  Ugly Christmas Sweater Scavenger Hunt centre and assembly table.

2-7 p.m.:  Cakewalk Commercials:  56 cakes will be given away during eight hours of ongoing Cakewalks during the festival.

It costs $1 to enter a cakewalk and proceeds will go to supporting the festival.

2-7 p.m.: ongoing community entertainers.

7-9 p.m.:  Dance to the music of Perfect Match.

Kids Activity Centre

41 First Ave. South

2-7 p.m.:  Drop-in Christmas crafts for kids.

Santa Centre (Potato House)

4-9 p.m.:  Drop-in story telling with Santa’s elves; tours of the Potato House; and a selfie station with old fashioned Christmas props and photographer Jana Roller there to help. Bring your own mug and enjoy free hot apple cider.

Downtown Centre

2-9 p.m.: All over the downtown core festival goers can enjoy do-it-yourself workshops, selfie photo stations, the festival food and drink challenge. Entertainers will be popping up indoors and outdoors for mini shows, while festival goers enjoy a downtown lit up for the festival and old fashioned window displays put together by merchants for the window decorating contest.

4-5 p.m.: Storytelling at 4 and 5 p.m. at the Open Book.

2-7 p.m.:  Festival Town Crier Harry Jennings calls out activities not to miss.

2-4 p.m.:  Face painting at Shoppers Drug Mart.

2-4 p.m.: Storytelling with Santa’s elves at the Williams Lake Library at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

5-7 p.m.:  Station House Gallery Christmas Market Opening.

7-9 p.m.:  Seniors cribbage at the Seniors’ Activity Centre.

SATURDAY, DEC. 5 (2-9 p.m.)

Festival Hub

2-7 p.m.:  Free hot chocolate continues to be provided along with a warming burn barrel, Winter Lights Festival booklets, kids’ safety bracelets, volunteer information,

2-7 p.m.:  Take a selfie with the 1946 Fargo pick-up truck that will be located on site.

2-4 p.m.:  Have a free portrait taken with the vintage truck by lakecity photographer  Laureen Carruthers.

Festival Family Centre, 180 Yorston

2-6 p.m.:  Drop-in gingerbread house and Christmas treat decorating for kids.

2-6 p.m.:  Relay Races for groups or families with prizes for the top three winners.

2-5 p.m.:  Lantern building – use in the Santa Parade.

7-9 p.m.:  Drop in gingerbread house and Christmas treat decorating for youth and adults.

SATURDAY, DEC. 5

Festival Community Centre (Red Tomato Pies building)

6-7 p.m.:  Santa Claus Parade.

Everyone is welcome to walk and carol in the parade. Bring your lanterns and join the fun.

2-6 p.m.:  Cakewalk Commercials continue.

2-9 p.m.:  Community entertainment.

3-6 p.m.:  Christmas karaoke in the parking lot.

7-8 p.m.: Williams Lake Community Band concert.

8-9 p.m.:  Williams Lake Improv group entertains.

2-9 p.m.:  Hot food and drinks available by donation by the Lion’s Club. Local baker also on site.

Kids Activity Centre, 41 First Avenue South

2-5 p.m.:  Drop-in crafting for kids.

2-9 p.m.:  free gift wrapping zone.

Santa Centre Potato House

2-4 p.m.:  Potato House Parlour Photos with Santa, by photographer Jana Roller; Mrs. Claus story telling; and face painting.

4-9 p.m.:  Potato House Open House.

2-9 p.m.:  Bring your own mug and enjoy free hot apple cider.

Spirit Square

3-5:30 p.m.:  The Timber Kings will be on location “burning the brand” on wood rounds in exchange for donations to the food bank.

Representatives from the Salvation Army food bank will also be on site and there will be a burn barrel lit to keep people warm while they watch.

Downtown Centre

11 a.m.-3 p.m.:  Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin Christmas Tea and Bake Sale.

Noon-2:30 p.m.:  Concession and games for $1 at the Seniors’ Activity Centre.

2-9 p.m.:  Do-it-yourself workshops continue with local merchants along with indoor and outdoor mini-shows.

2-5 p.m.:  Storytelling at Open Book by elves at the top of every hour.

2-7 p.m.:  Festival Town Crier Harry Jennings announces upcoming activities and performances not to miss.

2 p.m. and 3 p.m.: Storytelling by Elves for kids at the Williams Lake Library.

2-9 p.m.: selfie stations; Spirit of Christmas tree decorations; merchant holiday window challenge; and merchant festival food and drink challenge continue.

SUNDAY, DEC. 6 (11a.m.-4 p.m.)

Festival Hub 327 Oliver

11 a.m. to noon: Town Crier announces festival winners.

11:59 a.m.:  The countdown to Sunday’s Midday Madness sales.

12 noon: Midday Madness begins.

11 a.m. -4 p.m.:  Blue Fins Swim Club Christmas tree sales continue.

The 1946 Fargo pick-up truck selfie station continues. Festival booklets, kids’ safety bracelets; the Angel Tree; and volunteer information continue to be available.

Kids Activity Centre, 41 First Ave. South (Beside Realm of Toys)

12-4 p.m.:  Gift wrapping zone continues.

Downtown Centre

12-4 p.m.:  Do-It-Yourself Workshops with downtown merchants; selfie photo stations; Spirit of Christmas Trees; merchant window dressing challenge; and the festival food and drink challenge continue.

The Winter Lights Festival is hosted and supported by many downtown businesses and co-ordinated by the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Association with primary sponsorship provided by City of Williams Lake, Williams Lake and District Credit Union, Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society, and Cariboo Regional District and help from local businesses providing venue space and generous sponsorship for all the events listed here.