This year's Light Up Night happens on Saturday (November 17) when downtown Invermere will be bustling with festivities.

Dazzling display almost here

If you listen carefully, you just might hear the sounds of sleigh bells and Christmas carols this November.

If you listen carefully, you just might hear the sounds of sleigh bells and Christmas carols this November, as the always-popular Invermere Light Up Night returns on Saturday (November 17).

“It’s a community event; it’s a kickstart to the festive season and it’s the best of late night shopping,” said Invermere Business Committee president Alita Bentley. “Kids get to visit Santa, and it’s just kind of a good holiday feel good event for the entire community.”

Beginning at 6 p.m., some of Invermere’s best and most colourful floats will make their way through Invermere’s downtown for the annual Santa Claus parade down 7th Street, beginning at Pothole Park. Each year dozens of local businesses and special interest groups pull out all the stops with their parade floats, so make sure to grab a good spot early on to watch the parade go by.

Santa himself will be the star attraction, and he will be joined by the very lucky local elementary school student who won the annual colouring contest among all three local elementary schools.

Santa, along with his elementary school helper, will then be the judge of the various floats once the parade ends while District of Invermere mayor Gerry Taft lights up the community Christmas Tree at the Invermere Cenotaph.

Following that, Santa will set himself up near the Firepit Grill in downtown Invermere for all the kids to come make their Christmas wishes, and all the stores will be open late — many with special deals for anyone looking to get a bit of a jump on their Christmas shopping.

“I have to say the parade, definitely is one of the favourites, because so many people, businesses  and community groups go all out and do these amazing phenomenal floats,” Bentley said. “A nighttime Christmas parade isn’t all that common… visitors are blown away by how awesome it is.”

Hot chocolate will be made available, and don’t forget to check out the local businesses taking part in a window-decorating contest. Anyone who wants to register a float for the parade is asked to go the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce website at www.cvchamber.ca.

“It’s nice to hang out and chat with friends, and visit and sip on hot coco and wander around and look at stuff, and buy some stuff if you find what you need for your Christmas shopping,” said Bentley. “It should be some good fun competition and some great festive Christmas spirit out there.”