Planning well in hand for festive Christmas event

The deadline’s creeping up really quickly on a group of dedicated volunteers who have been busy working on a festive project

The deadline’s creeping up really quickly on a group of dedicated volunteers who have been busy working on a festive project since last November.

“Things are moving along fine, but it’s coming fast,” said Graham Parsons, chairman of the Spirit of Sylvan Yuletide Festival.

There’s lots of interest he said of the festival which has been designed to build on other town-organized activities taking place Nov. 29 and Dec. 1 such as the parade, fireworks and Breakfast with Santa.

The festival will be held in the arena and multiplex making the whole weekend a bigger celebration that isn’t so weather dependent.

Parsons and Kelly Edgecombe will begin canvassing business owners in the near future to offer them information about the event and opportunities for their participation.

A variety of sponsorship categories have been developed that will allow even the smallest business to get involved. The sponsorships could take the form of donations of live or silent auction items or financial support.

“Examples of what we are looking for would be decorated Christmas trees, decorated wreaths or mini trees (decorations or a theme), a display of Christmas related products, live and silent auction items, raffle items (individual contributions or go together as a group to create something) and a Kids’ Zone sponsor,” said Parsons.

By gathering together a variety of sponsors, the organizers plan to offer a free event for families of Sylvan Lake and area.

The festival is about Christmas, “everything Christmas”, said Parsons. “It’s about community! It’s about family! Fun! And Holiday Spirit!”

The plan is to turn the multiplex into a “Winter Wonderland Entertainment Centre” with something for everyone.

There will be decorative displays from businesses and community groups, buskers, entertainers and vendors. A trail will be created around the ice surface of the multiplex so visitors can stroll and admire the creativity of businesses or purchase from Farmers’ Market vendors while there will be room in the centre of complex for skaters to entertain. There will also be a kids’ zone where youngsters can participate in crafts and other Christmas related activities.

A schedule of entertainment is being developed to provide a diversity of talent and genres.

There will be a gingerbread contest which the committee envisions as a team event where competitors will be supplied with the basics and then add their own unique decorations. “Dress up and have a good time with it,” said Parsons. The final creations will be auctioned.

And, of course, Santa and his elves will be making appearances.

Also planned is a feature hockey game in the arena that is sure to ignite rivalries and provide some fascinating watching.

Events will continue on the Saturday wrapping up that evening with live and silent auctions.

“It’s our sincere hope that this festival will signal the start of the holiday season each and every year. Initial proceeds from this event will go to support the creation of an urgent care centre in Sylvan Lake.

For more information or to get involved contact Parsons at 403-887-2575.

Dale Plante and Sean McIntyre are looking after the entertainment program. Crystal Loewen of Sylvan Lake Farmers’ Market is arranging the vendors.