Hundreds flock to Winter Village

Winter Village attendees enjoy the light-up at the pier. Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake NewsWinter Village attendees enjoy the light-up at the pier. Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake News
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake NewsReeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake News
Group enjoys an evening of great company and lights dancing to the sounds of music. Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake NewsGroup enjoys an evening of great company and lights dancing to the sounds of music. Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake News
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake NewsReeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake News
A group enjoys a view of the lit-up Winter Village. Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake NewsA group enjoys a view of the lit-up Winter Village. Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla / Sylvan Lake News

The spirit of Christmas shined as hundreds of people flocked to the pier for a magical evening with a light show and music at the Winter Village. This event was part of Light Up the Lake festivities Nov. 27.

Winter Village Committee member Doug McGill said the event exceeded their expectations and was very well-attended. “The waterfront downtown is the heart and soul of Sylvan Lake. That’s what makes Sylvan Lake what it is, and to have it vibrant with energy and colour and lights in the wintertime, it changes everything,” he said.

Winter Village offers an escape for anyone wanting to enjoy an evening of bliss, free of cost, said Winter Village Committee member Kjeryn Dakin. She deemed this initiative especially valuable given the increased financial burden caused by the pandemic.

“Our downtown core, which is the heartbeat of any community, shows how healthy we are as a town. The fact that we are coming back and so many people are interested in doing business here because of the Winter Village and not just being the town of one season, that’s going to show growth in all components of our town. I think we are on the cusp of big growth here, and that’s really exciting,” said Dakin.

Winter Village started five years ago and has continued to expand with each passing year. The initiative grew majorly in size for the first three years before being struck with the pandemic in 2020. While COVID-19 posed challenges and threatened organizations to stay afloat, Winter Village maintained its position and cautiously continued operations for another successful season. This year, the organization installed a new sound system that plays in sync with the decorations of the flashing lights.

“There is a permanent sound system that we basically donate to the town that the town can use down at the pier during summer, fall, winter, spring, for any event that needs sound system. But most importantly, it added a tremendously exciting level of impact to the Winter Village,” said McGill.

“Smiling faces and seeing everyone enjoy the Winter Village makes all the work worthwhile,” said Dakin, adding, “There is a sensory sensitive component, so there are flashing lights and there is music. But for the first hour of each evening, there’s no flashing. So, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. there will be no flashing.” The light show and music are scheduled to run until 9 p.m., with the lights turning off at 10 p.m. every evening. The lights alone are also turned on before sunrise between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m.

McGill thanks the entire community for stepping up and helping make Winter Village a reality for the fifth consecutive year.