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Stage set for annual Sundown in Sundre

Wreath auction, pictures with Santa and public skate among many planned activities
MVT-Santa pics
The Sundre & District Museum was able to accommodate photos with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus by appointment only last year despite the pandemic. Families will be able to have pictures taken with Santa this Friday, Dec. 3 during Sundown in Sundre events, but will again need to call the museum in advance. File photo/MVP staff

SUNDRE — A variety of family-friendly activities lined up this Friday evening will conjure up some Christmas cheer and help the community usher in the holiday season.

In partnership with the Sundre & District Museum as well as participating local businesses, the Sundre & District Chamber of Commerce has been preparing plans for the annual Sundown in Sundre.

While the timing of when local shops will remain open until and what kinds of holiday specials will be offered is going to be determined by individual business owners, the chamber has been involved in making a number of other arrangements for the community.

Among the planned events are the annual wreath auction, a chamber-sponsored public skate at the Sundre Arena made possible courtesy of donations, as well as pictures with Santa at the museum, said Heather Hicks, the chamber’s executive director.

“The plan is to do the same thing as last year, where the sleigh will be inside the museum and the kids get to sit in it with Mr. Claus in the back, or standing to the side,” said Hailey Lightbown, the museum’s executive director.  

Additionally, in an effort to provide some additional holiday family fun while at the same time enticing people to set foot in multiple local businesses that will be participating, Hicks said there will be a scavenger hunt.

“The chamber is also organizing a hide-the-elf scavenger hunt. So, there’ll be elves hidden throughout a number of stores in town,” she said.

People who participate will get a form they’ll have to fill out identifying where they found Santa’s little hidden helpers, she said.  

“We’re going to call it ‘Hide and Seek with Santa’s Elves’,” she said, adding there will be a total of six that must all be found to be entered in a draw for a prize.

Meanwhile, prior to the wreaths being placed on display at the museum this Friday for the auction, the locally-made traditionally festive Christmas door ornaments will throughout the week be found at participating businesses.

That way, “the bids can start earlier in the week,” said Hicks, adding that any proceeds from the auction of wreaths will be allocated to the Greenwood Neighbourhood Place Society.

Courtesy of a donation, the chamber will also be sponsoring free public skating at the Sundre Arena from 4 to 6 p.m., while photos with Santa must be booked through the museum by phone prior to coming to have the pictures taken. The museum can be reached by calling 403-638-3233.

Additionally, Hicks said local couple Darryl and Donna McGregor, who live southeast of town, will return with their team of horses to provide at no cost wagon rides that will take people to the museum from the starting point at the parking lot on the corner of Centre Street and First Street NW near Pro Water, and back again.   

Throughout the evening, children will courtesy of a donation also have a chance to get glitter tattoos and balloon animals free of charge over at Backwoods Bakery, where local clown entertainer Little Smarty — gymnastics head coach Cynthia Spurrier — and her gang will be hanging out, said Hicks.

And the lighting ceremony for the Sundre Palliative Care Association’s Tree of Hope fundraiser starts at 5 p.m.

Check the chamber’s social media page for a promotional post about Sundown in Sundre that features in the comment section what kinds of specials some local businesses plan to offer.  

Once folks have had the opportunity to check out local shopping specials and activities, they might consider wrapping up the evening by taking in the impressive annual display of Christmas lights and decorations on an acreage immediately west of Sundre

“The lights west of town are going to be on that evening as well,” said Hicks.

Simon Ducatel

About the Author: Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel joined Mountain View Publishing in 2015 after working for the Vulcan Advocate since 2007, and graduated among the top of his class from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's journalism program in 2006.
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