Expanded selection of Christmas activities planned

There will be more Christmas in Sylvan Lake’s Christmas celebrations this year.

There will be more Christmas in Sylvan Lake’s Christmas celebrations this year.

A committee has been working since last November to create an all-encompassing kickoff to the Christmas season which includes existing holiday festivities and adds some exciting new initiatives, said committee chairperson Graham Parsons.

The Spirit of Sylvan Yuletide Festival will take place Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

Supplementing festivities such as the Santa Claus parade, fireworks display, and Breakfast with Santa, the festival will use the arena and multiplex for the two day celebration.

“It started as an idea, turned into a dream, and now it is becoming a reality,” said Parsons. “It’s everything about community spirit.”

“The committee had its first meeting knowing full well it would be a lot of work, but FUN work,” he said. “Who can’t enjoy Christmas? Who can’t enjoy a party? Who can’t enjoy a Christmas party?”

“The festival is about Christmas – everything Christmas. It’s about community! It’s about family, fun, and holiday spirit,” said Parsons.

At the same time, it’s a fundraiser towards an Urgent Care Centre for Sylvan Lake.

Following the Santa Claus Parade and fireworks on Nov. 30 everyone’s invited to the multiplex and arena which are being turned into a “Winter Wonderland Entertainment Centre”.

Decorative displays from businesses and community groups, buskers, entertainers and vendors will fill the buildings with festive spirit as they surround the centre stage and family skating trails on the multiplex floor. Santa and the elves will greet young and old at Santa’s Throne. Holiday treats, vendors, kids and family zones will fill the complex.

Meanwhile, in the arena there will be a feature hockey game (participants to be announced later).

The fun continues on Saturday after the traditional Breakfast With Santa at the community centre. Following the first sitting, the doors of the festival will reopen at the multiplex for another day of fun and entertainment.

Local entertainers, a Christmas Craft Bazaar, the Giggle Gang, skating club performance and cub and scout ice roadeo are among events being discussed. Perhaps a ginger bread house competition and auction, or a cake bakeoff and auction. The opportunities for local businesses and organizations to get involved are numerous.

All the events at the multiplex and arena will be provided free of charge to attendees while the event will also raise money for a great community cause – an Urgent Care Centre for Sylvan Lake.

“This bipartisan event is being put on by local community groups, leaders and volunteers for the community.”

How will money be raised. A big part of the event will be our “Winter Wonderland” which will double not only as decorations and displays but as auction items as well. Businesses and community groups are invited to put in a substantial Christmas item, such as a decorated Christmas tree, playhouse or toyland display, for auction at the end of the event, similar to Red Deer’s Festival of Trees,” said Parsons.

Other community participation in raising funds may include a ginger bread house making contest, cake auction or a six week long lottery featuring substantial prizes culminating with the draw on the final night.

And last, but not least, sponsorships will be available to support this event and a very worthy cause. “The more the sponsorships, the more for Urgent Care, the better the event, the more for Urgent Care, the better the event the better for the community,” said Parsons.

Hop on board the Yuletide train. For more information contact Parsons at 403-887-2575.