By Steve Hubrecht

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Santa will be back in Invermere, making a tour of the town once again this year. 

It’s a tradition that started two years ago, during the first COVID-19 pandemic-altered Christmas. At that point, pandemic restrictions had put most normal visits to sit on Santa’s knee on ice, so the District of Invermere and several other entities teamed up, and put the big jolly red fellow on the back of a semi trailer and hauled him through the streets of the community. 

The ‘Santa on the Town’ tour was a hit, and so the district did it again last December. This year,  COVID-19 restrictions have been completely lifted, but the event is so popular that it will be running once again this coming Friday, Dec. 9.

Local kids can catch Saint Nick from the end of their driveways, from their front lawns or (if they wish to stay extra toasty warm during the currently frigid temperatures) through the window of their homes.

Santa and his elfish helpers will begin cruising around town at 4 p.m., starting at the Invermere Legion and will wend their way all over Invermere for more than three hours. The timeline is very rough, and subject to plenty of change, but the plan is to have Santa pass by Kinsmen Beach and then loop through the Wilder subdivision at about 4:30 p.m. From there he’ll swing back along 7th Avenue (Invermere’s main street), through other parts of the downtown, and then into Athalmer not long after 5 p.m. 

Next, Father Christmas will make his way along the northern part of 10th Avenue, then down 13th Avenue with a stop near J.A. Laird Elementary School at about 6 p.m. After that he’ll continue south down 13th Avenue, circle into the Westside Park neighbourhood at about 6:20 p.m., then U-turn back north on 15th Avenue and head into the Westridge subdivision shortly after 7 p.m.

Old Kris Kringle will then circumnavigate around the Mount Nelson Athletic Park fields, pass back by J.A. Laird Elementary School once more (around 7:20 p.m. or so) and then finish off back at the Legion.

If you’re wondering if Pere Noel is getting close to your house or not, watch out for the flashing lights of the vehicles of the Invermere Fire Rescue department, who will be escorting Santa and his crew. The district is asking people to stay on the sidewalk or their lawns to keep the roads clear.

‘Santa on the Town’ is joint effort by the district of Invermere, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 71 Windermere District, Invermere Fire Rescue and Invermere Home Hardware.