Get in the Christmas spirit during Light up the Night
Farrah Turner gets a close-up look at some of the Christmas light displays at Lest We Forget Park during the Light up the Night festivities last year. This year's festival runs Nov. 22-26, 2017. (Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe)
The City of Lacombe invites you to get into the festive spirit during the seventh annual Light up the Night Festival.
One of the most extensive holiday festivals in Central Alberta, it promises five days of festive fun for the whole family starting Nov. 22 and running until Nov. 26.
Things get underway on the Wednesday night with Flat Iron Singin’ Swingin’ at the Lacombe Memorial Centre featuring the artistic musical stylings of Randi Boulton, Tony Hoffmann, Joan Ree and Sean Edwards.
The big night, however, is the Thursday.
“We’re excited that this is the first time in seven years that the next day is a PD Day. We’re hoping parents and kids will stay out late and enjoy everything,” said Guy Lapointe, the community and economic development manager for the city.
“We always try to add something new. There’s some things we dropped off this year but we want people to plug in whichever way they can.”
The evening kicks off with the Tim Hortons Santa Claus Parade at 6 p.m. This year, the parade will take a slightly different route, heading down 50 St. rather than 49 St. As such, parking will not be allowed on 50 St. for parade goers.
The tree lighting ceremony at Lest We Forget Park will follow at 6:45 p.m.
“We’re up to 60,000 lights now for the tree lighting,” he said. “This year we focused on the big tree. There’s never been a feature tree. It’s got a little more zing than in past years.”
Along with the usual Midnight Madness shopping, there will also be roving carollers and the return of fire dancers and ice sculptures, but the loss of the ice slide.
“I’m disappointed we couldn’t do the slide this year. We’ve tried a number of years but it’s always the middle of February by the time we get to use it and we only have it for six weeks,” said Lapointe.
“We put more money into the ice sculptures, so people should be very stoked. It’s quite something we’ve got coming.”
Trade shows, fairs and pop up shops will happen throughout the festival to help residents get a start on Christmas shopping.
On the Friday and Saturday night, however, residents will be treated to a live performance of the radio version of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” put on by Homegrown Theatre.
A brunch provided by Cilantro & Chive will be held on the Sunday for just $5 with advance tickets available at the Best Western Lacombe hotel.
The Burman University Acronaires will also put on a Christmas performance at 7:15 p.m. at the Burman University Gym.
The festival itself wraps up on Sunday, Nov. 26, however, the final “Light up” event won’t be held until Dec. 22.
To celebrate the end of school for the holiday season Lacombe and area residents are invited to Cranna Lake to enjoy a night of skating, Tim Hortons and a fireworks show at 8 p.m.
“It’s a sort of cool, impromptu evening out so people can mingle with their neighbours and family,” he said.
A full list of events can be found online at www.lacombetourism.com/light-night-events.
If one festival isn’t enough to take in, the 24th annual Red Deer Festival of Trees also takes place Nov. 22-26. Proceeds from the event will go towards laboratory automation in hematology and microbiology at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
Light up Blackfalds will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 29.
As with Light up the Night, Stantec is the title sponsor.
Christmas Carols will by sung by the Iron Ridge Junior Campus Choir, followed by speeches and a countdown for lights to turn on at 7 p.m. See the next edition of the Lacombe Globe for details.