Santa joins local law enforcement officials for a picture during bonfire night at the Sylvan Lake Winter Village. The Village is open through March 31 at the Lakeshore Drive Pier, with various special events planned between now and then.

5 reasons to make Sylvan Lake’s Winter Village your go-to destination

Sylvan Lake celebrates the seasons on the lakefront and downtown

Have you discovered the incredibly festive lighting at the Winter Village illuminating Sylvan Lake?

Now in its second year of offering a magical experience for local families and visitors alike, the Sylvan Lake Winter Village inspires ‘kids of all ages’ to celebrate not just Christmas, but the entire winter season from December through March.

The Winter Village Christmas lightup launched Dec. 1 during Yuletide Festival weekend, amid a fanfare of fireworks, music and excitement.

The enthusiasm around making the Winter Village an outdoor staging point for community events inspired many local businesses to sponsor the project. “In the true spirit of the season – the Winter Village is all about co-operation and a community working together for the benefit of all,” says Denise Bryan-Williams, Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.

Local merchants decorated their businesses in spectacular fashion, with many participating in the Passport to Christmas Program which encourages shopping, eating and playing local. Says Winter Village Chairperson Doug McGill, the lights around town have inspired many more residents to go all out with their home lighting displays.

Here’s what else you can expect at the Winter Village this season:

  1. The annual New Year’s Day fireworks display on the Pier on Jan. 1 will ring in 2019 with a bang starting at 7 p.m.
  2. The Planter Parade, a collection of festive and creative Christmas planters created by local businesses, families and non-profit associations, is in place throughout the season.
  3. The Village continues to be a gathering place for your winter activities on the lake, with local merchants sponsoring firepit weekends periodically, with staffers and their families serving hot chocolate and snacks.
  4. Expanded lighting and sound systems see most of the pier illuminated, while special musical beds create a glittering, beat-sensitive light show every 30 minutes.
  5. At the end of February, the Sylvan Lake Winterfest will feature various events at the lake, with the Winter Village providing a stunning background.

Other new lakefront attractions in the works

McGill says new ideas are being considered, including an illuminated hot air balloon Night Glow event and the addition of coloured laser lights to make the skating rink on the lake ice glow. Lighting will be added to the waterfront area every year.

“The lake offers so much potential for what people can do to have fun, be active and recreate, winter or summer,” he says.

The growth of the Winter Village and related events and activities for the winter season are helping transform Sylvan Lake from a place best known as a summertime lake resort and playground to a destination with year-round appeal; you might say “Brilliant All Year.”

And that bodes well for the future, whether you’re a local merchant seeking ways to boost business in winter or a family looking to take up residence in a beautiful and energized lake community. Sylvan Lake has it all!.

“I think the town is already a major destination in Alberta and its attraction will only grow in the years to come,” says McGill.

The community’s support for the Winter Village is key to that success. A synergy between the town, the Chamber of Commerce, local businesses and volunteers made this happen. “It’s just amazing how much excitement this has injected into Sylvan Lake.”

Follow what’s happening at the Winter Village at Visit Sylvan Lake on Facebook.

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The illuminated archway at the Sylvan Lake Winter Village is a popular spot for photographs.

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