Christmas lights have started twinkling, wreaths are appearing in doors, and Christmas trees have been seen sparkling through windows — it’s time for the Winter Lights Festival in Williams Lake.
This year, on Saturday, Dec. 2, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be guided into town with an escort provided by the Williams Lake Fire Department, said Stefanie Hendrickson, interim executive director for the Downtown Williams Lake Business Improvement Association.
Catch Santa in the Winter Lights Parade with an assortment of other winter-themed floats, and festive groups, beginning at 11 a.m. sharp.
The parade route will begin at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex and wind their way down Borland Street to 3rd Ave. North, where they will take a left towards Oliver Street, head down Oliver Street to First Avenue South where they will make another left and end on Yorston, and the BIA gives a huge thank you to Citizens on Patrol who will be aiding with traffic control.
“After the parade the community is invited to the Potato House where we’re going to be having photos with Santa and also caroling,” said Hendrickson.
Angelkeys Music Studio, thanks to Angela Sommers, alongside the Synergy and Quintet Plus choirs will be guiding the community in their favourite tunes of the season and the Potato House will also be providing hot apple cider for which they are encouraging people to bring their own mugs, if possible.
“As well we encourage people to get out into our downtown and just see what our local economy has to offer in terms of their Christmas shopping,” said Hendrickson. “Just checking out their local stores to see what is available here that maybe they could get in town instead of having to go out of town or getting it online.”
While the first round of judging is underway for the window decorating contests throughout town beginning on Saturday, community members can take part in the second round of judging.
Anyone can vote at any participating business for their favourite window display up until Jan. 3. Mr. Mikes is sponsoring the window display contest and both winning businesses from the judged portion of the contest, as well as voters for people’s choice will get a chance to win gift certificates to the restaurant.
Additionally this year the Community Arts Council and the BIA are coming together to make sure people can stay warm this winter. From Dec. 1 to 3 look for free donated mitts, gloves and winter wear in the downtown area — if you see it, you can take it.
After Winter Lights, the donations will be moved to Boitanio Park for those who need to continue to use them.
The Winter Lights Festivities promise to be a wonderful kick off to the holiday season.
“We really encourage everyone to come down,” said Hendrickson.