Yuletide Festival will feature lots for the whole family

Kids Zone; Farmers’ Market and plenty of items that will be auctioned

Signs of Christmas, and particularly the second annual Spirit of Sylvan Yuletide Festival and Market, are appearing throughout town as the big two-day event is just over a week away.

The event is all about community and holiday spirit, family and fun, said Graham Parsons, the committee’s chairperson. It promises to live up to its goal as work continues by many dedicated volunteers.

Confirmation has also been received that Santa Claus will make visits both days.

Several decorated Christmas trees, which will later be displayed at the multiplex and auctioned to the highest bidders, are on display at Canadian Tire. One of the feature items, an outdoor rink shack complete with many exciting accoutrements will be on display between the arena and multiplex beginning this week. And other live auction items are being added to the organization’s Facebook page as pictures become available.

Festivities get underway next Friday (Nov. 29) when the Christmas Farmers’ Market opens in the multiplex at 4 p.m. It also runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The multiplex will also be filled with decorated Christmas trees and wreaths, donated by community businesses and organizations, that will be auctioned at the end of the event to raise money for the town’s Urgent Care initiative.

Entertainment planned throughout the two day event will include the C. P. Blakely Choir, Sylvan Lake Sacred Massed Choir and Jazz Explosion.

The arena will host hockey games Friday evening, then Saturday there’s a novice three on three tournament followed by Skate with the Mascots (11 am to 12 noon), Sylvan Skating Club’s Spirit of Christmas performance (12-1:30 pm) and public skating with the elves (1:30-3:30 pm).

The curling club will host a couple of events.

There’s Learn to Curl (1-2 pm Saturday) and then fun time three end mini curling games from 2:30-4 Saturday afternoon. The lounge in the club is open Friday evening.

The Kids Zone will feature lots for youngsters to do including crafts, bouncy inflatables and the Giggle Gang providing their unique entertainment.

One of the highlights of Saturday afternoon is certain to be the gingerbread house making competition. At least four teams are confirmed and there’s still room for more. If you’re interested in participating get in touch with Kelly Edgecombe at boyk@shaw.ca or 403-887-6298.

All of the events at the festival and market are meant to enhance what have been annual traditions in Sylvan for many years — the Santa Claus parade which starts at 7 p.m. Friday night, fireworks following the parade and Breakfast With Santa which includes two sittings at Fox Run-Mother Teresa multi-campus, Saturday morning (Nov. 30) — advance tickets required for breakfast, available at the aquatic centre.

More volunteers are always needed for a variety of tasks. To get involved, contact Graham Parsons (403-887-2575) or Debbie Thomas (403-887-7360).

All proceeds raised through the festival will support the town’s Urgent Care initiative. Last year over $12,000 was raised.

To keep up with the fast-moving planning for this exciting event ‘like’ the Facebook page or check the website at www.spiritofsylvanyuletide.com.