LIGHTING UP THE NIGHT — Each year the Light Up Santa Claus parade attract throngs of people who line up on either side of the main street in downtown Invermere to watch the creative floats go by. This year’s parade starts at 6 p.m.

Light Up returns as afternoon event

The ever-popular Light Up event is back in Invermere this year with a new, more family-friendly time slot.

The ever-popular Light Up event is back in Invermere this year with a new, more family-friendly time slot.

The Light Up has long marked the start of the Christmas season here in the valley, with adults and kids alike eagerly anticipating the fun and games, the sight of the official Christmas trees being set aglow and, of course, the chance to meet Santa Claus.

In past years, catching the event was an evening-only affair, occasionally leaving the littlest toddlers staying up a little past bed time in order to get some face time with Jolly Old St. Nick, so this year the Light Up has become an afternoon event.

“It’s going to run all day so parents can come and experience everything at the Light Up and not have to worry about rushing home to bed, or about kids getting too cold,” said Invermere events co-ordinator Theresa Wood.

This year’s edition of Light Up will run from 1 p.m. to about 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 21st, beginning with crafts, colouring, writing letters to Santa, a frozen-themed photo booth and performances by the Silver Strings ukelele band in Santa’s Den (which this year will be located indoors, in the old Consign It store next to Cenotaph Park). Photos with Santa will take place in the den from 3 to 5 p.m.

Another new addition to Light Up will allow kids to try snowboarding all afternoon — without any snow — at the Burton Riglet Park, hosted by Panorama Mountain Resort just outside the Inside Edge store (across main street from Valley Foods).

The Santa Claus Parade will start at 6 p.m., and will run from the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena to Pothole Park. Immediately after the parade will be the lighting of the official Light Up Christmas tree in Pothole Park.

“It’s a really great event, and it has grown to be even better this year,” said Wood.

Local primary and elementary school students will be able to participate in a colouring contest at their schools in the lead-up to Light Up. The winner will get to ride in the parade and be a honourary parade judge.

Organizations wishing to register to be in the parade, or volunteers interested in helping out with Light Up, can contact Wood at 250-688-9663 or by emailing events@invermere.net.

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