Trent Ernst, Editor
Christmas is just over a month away, which means the Christmas season is upon us. Over the next few weeks, expect parties, carols and all the other trappings of the holiday season.
The first public event on the calendar is also the biggest: Holly Jolly Christmas comes to town on December 4.
The event has become a Tumbler Ridge tradition, and like most traditions, doesn’t vary much from year to year.
Erin Hanna is helping organize this year, and she says the biggest change will be the later start. Last year, says Hanna, there was the Children’s Christmas Concert held beforehand, but with choir director Karena Jensen returning to Australia, there is no Children’s Choir this year.
She’s hoping the later start will mean that the kids make it through to the end.
“In the past, kids arrive at four, and they’re eating sugar, so by the time we get to the sing-along, they’re done.”
This year, says Hanna, events will start at 7 pm with the light-up. “Then Santa arrives, and then we go into the singing.”
Hanna says the tweaks to the format are a return to form. “This is not brand new. For years, we did it like this. In the past few years, it’s segued into a concert, and the kids have had issues with that.”
Expect it to be chaotic, says Hanna, but also expect it to be fun. “They all run together, but for me, I love the buzz of activity all happening in the same room. It’s exciting. It’s a shorter time, and in a more condensed area, but I love standing back and watching the buzz.
Two days later, on December 6, the Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the Christmas Shopping fair in the Community Centre, from 9am to 4pm.
“It’s aimed at getting small businesses to come out and show what they have to sell,” says Chamber Manager Carmen Drapeau. “We have crafters and artists and people selling baking as well, but you’re going to see some new businesses there. Ridge Rotors is going to have a table there.”
Later that evening will be the Small Business Christmas party, but if you haven’t signed up already, you’re probably out of luck. That’s happening at the Conference Centre.
The next day will be the Annual Toy Bingo at the Community Centre. While it isn’t exactly Christmas related, many people use it as a way to get gifts for Christmas. That gets under way at 1pm.
Anyone interested in participating in the Chamber’s Christmas Light up contest (first prize: $500) need to have their forms in by December 8. Anyone interested in judging can hop on the bus on Dec 10. Tours start at 6pm. Cost is $2/person or $5 for the family.
The final even scheduled (so far) is happening on December 20, when the Lions club has their second annual Skate with Santa. Free hot dogs and hot chocolate and skating with Santa, the Grinch and Frosty.