Spirit of Christmas taking over Strathmore

·3 min read

Partnering with the Town of Strathmore, the Strathmore Wheatland Chamber of Commerce (SWCC) is gearing up to put on a host of events across town at the end of this month.

Collectively dubbed, the Spirit of Christmas, there’s something for everyone going on over the course of the weekend, from markets to skating to seeing the jolly red fat man himself.

“It will be a full day, starting with Mistletoe Markets … there’s going to three of them and then it will be followed up later on with a Santa Claus parade at 5 p.m.,” said Hayley Poirier, chair of the SWCC.

“Santa will be escorted up to the Strathmore Agricultural Society grounds where we will have the opening night of the Celebration of Lights.”

All of the businesses located downtown are being encouraged to take part in the events taking place during the day.

Among the roster of events taking place as part of the Spirit of Christmas, are three distinct local markets including the Strathmore Farmers’ Market Annual Christmas Market, a Mistletoe Market and The Vault Shopping Experience.

Each market will offer its own unique goods brought in from local vendors and craftspeople. Danielle Jensen with the Town of Strathmore said there’s even more reasons to check out the markets.

“We actually have a passport system set up for the markets. You can pick up a passport at the first market you visit and you can drop it off completed at the last market you visit,” she said.

The submitted passports will be entered into a draw for a prize that has yet to be announced, post festival.

Jensen added the event is seeking to build on past traditional happenings typically seen in Strathmore around this time of year, but still wants to keep things fresh and interesting.

One such new addition to the Spirit of Christmas is a “cookie walk” downtown.

“The idea behind it is that you would go and purchase a cookie tin for $20 from the Town of Strathmore … and you would then be able to go around to the participating businesses and collect a cookie from them as part of the Christmas Spirit,” said Poirier.

Those who are interested can pre-register ahead of time on the town website to collect the cookies, or can purchase and pick-up a tin at the Strathmore Centre on the day of the event.

Cookies offered at participating businesses will be pre-prepared and individually wrapped in an effort to mitigate concerns regarding COVID-19.

Regarding COVID-19 protocols, being outside will not require being masked, retailers do not require patrons to show proof of vaccination but sitting down to dine at a restaurant will require presentation of a vaccine passport QR code or proof of negative test from the prior 72 hours.

“The Christmas markets will be operating under provincial guidelines for COVID-19 protocols, so for those ones, masks, social distancing and maximum capacities will be required at all the market locations,” said Jensen.

The Skate with Santa, happening at the Strathmore Family Centre Arena, is participating in the vaccination exemption program, which will require proof of vaccination via QR code.

The Spirit of Christmas is scheduled for Nov. 27, with many events occurring from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Santa Claus Parade will subsequently begin at 5 p.m. and the Festival of Lights will open after the parade.

More information about the events is available via the Town of Strathmore website.

John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times

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