The gumball and snowball drop are a much-anticipated event at Light Up. File photo

Christmas kick-off Saturday

Light-up event in downtown Invermere Saturday, November 30th features displays, activities, parade and more

Pull out your Santa hat, get those Christmas tunes cranking, and bring your holiday cheer to downtown Invermere on Saturday, November 30th.

With your holiday mood set, you’ll fit right into the atmosphere for Invermere’s 2019 Light Up event. The day will be filled with the spirit of the holidays, from jolly displays to merry moments and festive fun. Check out business windows decked in holiday displays, and be sure to vote online for your favourite window for a chance to win an amazing prize pack from participating businesses. Browse the shops for holiday deals, visit with friends, and enjoy the special events happening in businesses throughout the downtown core such as face painting, snacks, Christmas crafts and more. There will be fire pits on the street from 4-8 pm. to help you stay warm and cozy.

Head over to Cenotaph Park for 4 p.m., where the third annual Gumball and Snowball Drop is a spectacle worth seeing firsthand. Hundreds of plastic ‘gumballs’ drop down from a crane in the sky, with deals on toys, candy, and discounts for kids to shop for their parents written on the balls, followed by an adult-only ‘snowball’ drop. Dozens of businesses are participating in one or both of the scheduled drops.

Make sure you’ve got the kids dressed spiffy as Santa Claus himself will be at the Columbia Valley Centre from 2-5 p.m. for photos. Then find your spot on the parade route, which starts at the arena this year and goes down 7 Ave. to Pothole Park. The parade is a magical way to kick off the Christmas season, with lit-up floats filled with friendly faces waving back at you.

The parade will end at Pothole Park, where Invermere’s official Light Up event will take place in the brightly-decorated area, thanks to the festive and fun Christmas display installed by George Gray. For many years, Mr. Gray set up his expansive holiday display in front of the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort sign by the highway in Fairmont, but has moved it into Invermere this year for all to enjoy.

Cortney Pitts, District of Invermere events coordinator, urges everyone to come join the fun at this year’s Light Up event.

“It’s always a fun event for families, for all ages, to get everybody out of the house and celebrate the holidays and get into the Christmas spirit,” she says.

Invermere is lucky to have Santa Claus stick around for the whole weekend for Breakfast with Santa on Sunday, December 1st, though this event is already sold out.

Then keep the holiday spirits high with a show by Cod Gone Wild, performing their Christmas album at the Columbia Valley Centre on Tuesday, December 3rd. For tickets, see www.eventbrite.ca and search for Cod Gone Wild Columbia Valley Centre.

Window Decorating Contest

This year’s theme for the downtown window decorating contest is ‘Christmas in the Movies.’ Check out the displays in 12 participating locations: the Invermere Library, Trading Post, Rainbow Donkey, Three Bears, Black Star, Village Arts, Summit Footwear, Main Street Fun & Games, Lambert-Kipp Pharmacy, Invermere Bakery, Treasures in the Wind at the Valley Dollar Store, and Inspire Floral Boutique.

The businesses are competing for bragging rights for the Best Light Up Window Display. First place from the judges (Invermere mayor and council) will receive a certificate to display in their window; the winner of the People’s Choice category will be presented with a ‘Best Decorated’ trophy to display in their business for the next year. Second and third place will also be recognized. Winners will be announced at Invermere Light Up at Pothole Park on November 30th. Voting is open now until Friday, November 29th at 8 p.m. Vote online at the Facebook Page: ‘Light Up Window Decorating Contest Voting.’ Put the name of your favourite business, or take a selfie in front of their display.

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