The holidays are nearing, and in celebration, communities in North Okanagan are flicking on the lights to welcome winter.
SilverStar Mountain Resort
The ski season starts off with a bang tonight (Nov. 29) at SilverStar Mountain Resort with the annual Christmas Light Up.
The annual SilverStar event brings thousands to the ski village each year to enjoy hot food and drinks, sleigh rides, fire dancers, local crafts and talents and, of course, meet Santa Claus.
Plus there’s fireworks at 7 p.m.
“This is not only our biggest night of the year, but it’s also our busiest night of the year,” SilverStar media relations manager Chantelle Deacon said.
The village countdown light up is at 5 p.m. with other events to follow until 7:30 p.m. For a full schedule of events visit skisilverstar.com.
Grab toques and mittens as the forecast is calling for lows of -19 C on the mountain so it’s best to arrive early, Deacon advised.
“We ask anyone who is planning on attending to make sure they get up here early to find parking,” she said.
The Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce is again co-ordinating the Children’s Community Christmas Tree, Downtown Light Up and Parade today (Friday, Nov. 29) and Home for the Holidays shop local weekend Dec. 6 to 8.
“Nov. 29 will feature activities throughout the day and early evening that will provide a festive atmosphere for all,” the chamber promises.
The 27th annual event will kick off with children’s tree decorating from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Then Spirit Square will liven up with music at 5:30 p.m. before the parade beginning at 6 p.m. from the Village Cheese Co. Santa is expected to arrive with the parade at the square at 6:30 p.m. when the tree will light up. Kids can visit Santa until 7:30 p.m. at CIBC and continue enjoying live music from the Turtle Valley Band.
Home for the Holidays will link the business community together with horse-drawn wagon rides available to take shoppers from one end of town to the other.
In the spirit of the season, there are 15 ornaments hidden in the community and the chamber wants you to discover them for your chance to win great prizes.
“Stop by the Chamber of Commerce and pick up your wreath and map then find all the ornaments hidden throughout the community.”
Coldstream is ready to Light Up for the holidays on Sunday, and this year it’s all about celebrating the little things.
The Light Up will be held on Sunday, Dec. 1 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Coldstream Christian Church and is free for all to attend. There the public can enjoy a live nativity photo booth, hot chocolate provided by local firefighters, hot dogs, apple cider and crafts for the kids.
There is also a shinny hockey area where kids can play with the 20 Vernon Vipers players who will be in attendance, and the Queen Silver Star royalty and candidates will be meeting and greeting the public. Students from Kidston and Coldstream elementary schools, as well as Kalamalka Secondary, will be singing Christmas carols throughout the evening.
As in years past, the Salvation Army will be there with their bright red bins collecting non-perishables and cash donations.
“This is probably one of my favourite events of Christmas,” said Lt. Stefan Reid, Vernon Corps officer and executive director of the local Salvation Army.
A Christmas parade will kickoff on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. and a celebration downtown will commence following the parade with a bonfire with wagon rides.
The 26th annual Downtown Vernon Light Up, presented by Wayside, is scheduled to take place along 30th Avenue Saturday, Nov. 30, from 5 to 8 p.m.
The popular event includes more than 40 vendors, live roving entertainment, a bonfire and marshmallow roast, food truck alley, children’s activities, a photo booth and more.
Due to the Legacy Tree’s location being outside of the event site at the corner of 30th Avenue and 35th Street, there will not be a tree-lighting ceremony, but instead, the tree, lamp posts and trees along 30th Avenue will all be lit at 5 p.m. for a holiday-inspired atmosphere.
The City of Vernon has also granted the DVA free public transit to and from the downtown core for the event. For drivers, 30th Avenue will be closed from 3 to 10 p.m.
An event map, including parking details, and a vendor list can be found here: downtownvernon.com.