Castlegar’s Winterfest celebrates twenty years with even more fun

This year Winterfest celebrates its 20th anniversary.

This year Santa and Mrs. Clause will move into City Hall following the parade

Winterfest is back to celebrate its twentieth anniversary on Friday, Dec. 4 with even more fun planned.

The Christmas celebration was started by former mayor Mike O’Connor twenty years ago with a visit from Santa and Mrs. Clause in a fire truck, and since grown offering parade of lights, entertainment and vendors.

Winterfest has not only grown in size, but also in appeal, it is a magical evening for the entire family. The celebration will kick off around 5:30 p.m. with a performance by the Rec Rockers.

This year Santa and Mrs. Claus will move indoors following the parade at 6 p.m. and Light up the Square at 6:30 p.m. Children will be able to line up to see them inside the warm City Hall instead of waiting outside.

In celebration of Winterfest’s 20th anniversary, the first 250 children to visit Santa will receive a commemorative reusable cloth bag sponsored by Zellstoff Celgar and FortisBC. But don’t worry all children will receive a goody bag from Santa.

Meanwhile, there will be live entertainment, which includes a performance by the Twin Rivers Community Choir. As if that weren’t enough, this year the Chamber of Commerce is working with its members on a Kickoff to Holiday Shopping event.

A number of downtown businesses will stay open later for Christmas shopping during Winterfest, hopefully increasing the draw for people who don’t have young families.

“We’re really looking to encourage people to come out and shop local, and to hopefully [have] some other people from the West Kootenays [come] as well, and shop in our town, and be part of the festivities,” said Verigin-Burk.

The Winterfest Committee (The Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce, City of Castlegar and the Castlegar and District Recreation Centre) would like to thank all their sponsors for making the event possible, and remind those planning on coming out on Friday night to dress warm.