The annual Holiday Light Up on Churchill Square is something I don’t like to miss, even if the weather is less than conducive for an outdoor event! Mack and I braved the cold to partake in this annual tradition.
Earlier in the afternoon though, I trekked down to the Square to pick up some groceries from the City Market. As with the previous two Saturdays, to help tie the Market into the day’s festivities, a third of the vendors were set-up in a tent on Churchill Square.
City Market outdoors
Though I thought this location was a boon to the vendors last year, it was a much different picture then, as it was easily about twenty degrees warmer than it was today. One of the two heaters stopped working an hour in this morning, something that didn’t bode well for those positioned in that half of the tent. Over in City Hall, however, it was very pleasant, with musicians livening up the atmosphere. Many shoppers were asking about which vendors were in the Square, but didn’t seem willing to step outside to explore them firsthand. I wonder if some clear signage with a map of vendors would have been an incentive to do so? Or, because of the weather, simply have allowed all of the vendors to remain inside the Hall?
Later that evening, Mack met up with me and we sipped hot coffee in anticipation of the light-up and fireworks. Closer to 5pm, the crowd swelled to a few hundred – it’s always heartening to see Edmontonians embracing outdoor activities.
Stilt walkers wandered into the crowd
After a few Christmas songs to warm up the crowd, Eskimo cheerleaders and Councillor Jane Batty welcomed Santa Claus himself up on stage (it was pretty amusing when Councillor Batty expressed to Santa that “one or two Councillors” will be receiving coal this Christmas).
On a break from the North Pole
I was a bit disappointed that the organizers opted not to use the giant light switch that they have in the past, but counting down to the light-up itself was still a great time. The 71 foot white spruce, weighing 8000 pounds, had been donated by Millar Western. Decorations included 14,000 LED lights, sparklers and snowglobes, about 4,000 more than last year.
I look forward to the fireworks spectacle every year, primarily because it is the only show in our city that is timed to music. I wonder if it was the cold that impacted the execution of the fireworks this year, because something delayed them this time around, which meant that they didn’t end up accompanying the music. We still enjoyed them though – fireworks are always a great way to kick off the holiday season!
The tree will be around to view until early January. Make sure to check it out when you have a chance!