The kick off to the holiday season in Lacombe is set to take place next week.
Guy Lapointe, the City’s community and economic development manager, said Light Up the Night was a festival that grew around the Moonlight Madness event already being held in Lacombe.
The City came up with the idea for the parade and tree lighting to help promote that event and the festival began to grow.
“We had such a wonderful response that year to what we did that people wanted to see a little bit more in ways of Christmas activities and a winter festival,” said Lapointe.
This is the third year Light Up the Night will be held in Lacombe and the second it will be extended into a three-day festival, said Lapointe.
He added that he has been taken aback with how much the festival has grown in such a short time and how much support it has received.
“We kind of did the first one on the fly, to be honest, in year number one. In three years I think we have very much exceeded our expectations.”
As with many festivals, the highlight of Light Up the Night is the Tim Hortons Santa Claus Parade on the evening of Nov. 28. Lapointe said it was a feature much needed by the winter festival.
“That was really a missing element. Everybody loves a parade and people show up for a parade.”
Lapointe added that the parade started quite small and while this year’s will include about 30 entries it has remained somewhat small so that people don’t have to sit through an enormously long parade in the middle of winter.
Lumenight, which will be held on Nov. 29, is another event that has grown with Light Up the Night.
Lapointe said the Lumenight event had actually run separately from Light Up the Night during February before it became part of the winter festival last year.
Lumenight will be held after Lacombe’s world record attempt at the largest human Christmas tree.
Light Up the Night hopes to make history by assembling 1,000 people in a distinctive tree shape at ME Global Athletic Park.
Lapointe added that he hopes this will deliver more people to the Lumenight activities afterwards.
This year Light Up the Night is hoping to do more in support of Moonlight Madness, the event that started the festival.
Participating business are offering a draw prize for those who visit their stores during the event.
Lapointe added that the different events of Light Up the Night fit really well together.
He said that, to him, the first night of the festival, participants are observers taking in the events.
On the second day, it is more about “Getting out and rubbing shoulders with your neighbours.”
Readers can cut out the draw prize entry from the Light Up the Night found in this week’s Express and drop it off at any participating business.
Lapointe said the goal is this contest will result in more business for Lacombe’s local shops.
“We’re hoping people will support the local businesses,” said Lapointe.
These are a just a few of the events taking place as part of Lacombe’s Light Up the Night Festival.
For more details, including a full schedule of events, visit www.heartoflacombe.ca.
Or check out the Light Up the Night Guide in this week’s edition of the Lacombe Express.