Santa Claus and several friends paraded through Castlegar’s downtown on Friday during the 16th annual Winterfest. At the conclusion of the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus dismounted their ride to help light the Christmas trees at City Hall Spirit Square. Santa then met with many of the boys and girls from Castlegar and the area.
The event also featured a sing-along with Elaine Ryder and Ray Yule, carols by the Twin Rivers Chorale Choir, story-telling by Julie Kalesnikoff, and fire spinning by Heidi Smee and her students.
Pam McLeod of the Castlegar Chamber of Commerce (a major sponsor of the event along with Zellstoff Celgar; FortisBC; the Castlegar and District Recreation Department and the City of Castlegar) said the event is growing in popularity.
“It’s definitely gaining momentum over the years, with more participation,” she said, “not only with businesses stepping up to enter the parade, but with residents as well.”
Particularly gratifying to McLeod and others is the demographic showing up to celebrate – not just parents and kids.
“Last year we found that there were a lot of people who were in their late 20s and early 30s. They were showing up with their groups of social networks just to be a part of the event. It was really nice to see.”
Castlegar’s Winterfest also enjoyed generous sponsorship by Columbia Power; RHC Insurance Brokers and A&W.