BY KALISHA MENDONSA
The fantastic festival of Light Up the Night is back again, full of old favourite events and brimming with community spirit.
Light Up the Night is more than a series of fun events – it’s a demonstration of the commitment of Lacombians to celebrate the season, support each other and create new networking opportunities. The flourishing festival runs from Nov. 23rd to Nov. 27th, all across the City with a wide variety of interesting events.
Lead organizer Guy Lapointe has poured months of work into this event, working with community partners in various ways to bring together the iconic festival.
“Seeing this festival being driven by the community is what makes it so special. We really want people to feel like this is their festival,” Lapointe said.
“It means a lot for community members to have a say in helping us build the festival and it really speaks to how connected our community is.
“As well, I think it’s a great attraction for our community. We have people from other communities in Central Alberta – even as far as Edmonton and Calgary – who are sharing photos, and tweets and talking about this event. They are paying attention to this festival and that really builds up Lacombe and it’s something we can continue to be proud of.”
The festival will feature the staple events of the ever-growing Tim Horton’s Santa Claus Parade, the Midnight Madness shopping event and the City of Lacombe Tree Lighting Ceremony outside the Lacombe Memorial Centre (LMC).
The LMC will host a huge variety of events, from craft sales and community markets, to the ice slide in Lest We Forget Park and even selfie events with Santa.
As well, Lapointe said the traditional screening of Polar Express will continue to delight audiences, but this time will be shown in 3D at Lacombe City Cinemas.
He said he is very excited for this event and hopes the community will enjoy the special screening opportunity.
“I’m a big fan of the movie, and when it came out in IMAX in 2004, it blew everybody’s mind. It’s hard to find it in 3D anywhere else so for us to be able to do that in 3D will be a really cool thing,” Lapointe said, adding it to the list of items that shouldn’t be missed during the festival.
“I think the parade is always a spectacle to be seen. When it started, we didn’t know what we would have and it’s grown to about 30 floats where people put a lot of effort into their design,” he said.
“We had a few comments around the parade, and we’ve gone from people coming out to simply watch to people wanting to get involved and really carry through the concept of really lighting up our City. The designs are excellent and it has become something really exciting for our community.”
Each and every event held throughout the festival is the result of community partnerships, months of planning and a testament to the true community spirit of Lacombe. Lapointe said the Midnight Madness event is a huge component in building that community spirit, as it celebrates local vendors and encourages people to take part in the Lacombe and District Chamber of Commerce Passport to Christmas event.
“Midnight Madness is a huge thing for our community. People really want to see and feel and experience local shopping and goods during the Christmas season, so that event is crucial in that,” he said.
Check out the exclusive Lacombe Express Light Up the Night feature guide, published with this week’s paper.
For more information, see the Lacombe Tourism web site for event listings.