Lighting up the neigbourhood, getting in the holiday spirit

Annual Light Up event to take place in Invermere Nov. 26

By Chadd Cawson Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

‘Hometown Christmas’ is the theme for the variety of activities planned for the District of Invermere’s (DOI’s) annual light up event on November 26. It’s the first since the COVID pandemic began, and has been taking place for over a decade. It aims to capture the magic, charm, and wonder of the community as the holiday season gets under way.

The fun begins with old Saint Nick himself at the Invermere Legion from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Donations to the Christmas Bureau are encouraged. Wagon rides will be happening on 7th Ave. from 2 to 5 p.m. Merchants are encouraged to add to the merriment of the day by decorating up their store fronts with displays and specials.

The parade will start at the Eddie Memorial Arena at 5:30 p.m. All parade floats are encouraged to be full of lights with fun music a-blaring. It will conclude at Pothole Park where the party begins with the light up ceremony. Santa Claus will be helping with the countdown, getting things lit in the park when the lights come on. There’ll be live entertainment .

“We had to cancel our light up event in 2020 and 2021. Last year, I organized the light up the holidays decorating contest and tour instead where businesses, organizations and residents were encouraged to decorate with a holiday theme and lights,” said Cortney Pitts, DOI leisure services manager. “Light up is the kick-off to the holiday season in Invermere, signalling the start of winter fun and festive celebrations. This event has morphed from a night-only event to an afternoon – not the evening – affair, encouraging locals and visitors to spend more time in downtown Invermere, while getting an early start on holiday shopping.”

Pitts said a parade was allowed to take place last year that resonated with restrictions at the time. On December 4 the parade marched through downtown Invermere on the unceded territories of the Secwépemc and Ktunaxa Peoples and the land chosen as home by the Métis Peoples of B.C.

“Favorite traditions have been kept and new ones have been added over the years. Light Up is the event where we ring in the holiday season by turning on our town Christmas Lights,” said Pitts. “This annual event brings out crowds who have participated in this event every single year, so much so that it has become a tradition for both locals and visitors alike.”

Chadd Cawson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer