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Airdrie Festival of Lights named one of Canada's most festive cities

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 02, 2014 11:53 am

Families made their way to Nose Creek Park for the Airdrie Festival of Lights on Dec. 27. The festivities were short lived for some, as a flash freeze and high winds blew threw the city, making for frigid temperatures.
Families made their way to Nose Creek Park for the Airdrie Festival of Lights on Dec. 27. The festivities were short lived for some, as a flash freeze and high winds blew threw the city, making for frigid temperatures.
MATT DURNAN/Rocky View Publishing

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Airdrie Festival of Lights is getting national attention with the release of Canada’s 10 Most Festive Christmas Cities in Reader’s Digest Canada.

“To be named across Canada as one of the top 10, it’s exciting for us. It just goes to show an event can be put on by volunteers and be this successful,” said Michelle Pirzek, festival co-ordinator.

“Our volunteers put in thousands of hours of work.”

The festival was named number 10 on the list and Reader’s Digest Canada called the event “an immersive, illuminating experience.”

The publication also highlighted the festivals more than a million lights, the train rides, bonfires, and crafting station.

Pirzek said she hopes the national recognition will draw even bigger crowds to next year’s festival.

“For sure people are going to want to come see what all the fuss is about,” she said.

She said the recognition cements in her mind that the Airdrie Festival of Lights is an inexpensive family-friendly event Airdrie residents and surrounding communities enjoy visiting each year.

“It means that we’re getting our message out there. We have an event that is family-friendly and beautiful,” Pirzek said.

Other cities listed in the Reader’s Digest Canada list in order of one to nine were: Quebec City, Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara Falls, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Calgary, Bay Roberts and Edmonton.

This season has been a challenging one for Airdrie Festival of Lights with plummeting temperatures and severe winter storms forcing the event to close several times.

“Mother Nature was not our best friend this year for sure,” Pirzek said, “but we’ve managed.”

She said in spite of the cold and windy weather it looks like attendance was up this year and they have received just more than $30,000 in donations so far.

“Those donations help keep us going. We can’t do it without them,” she said.

The 2013 season wrapped up Dec. 31, with fun carnival games for the whole family.

Pirzek said the event would not be such a success without the support of festival-goers, a number of volunteers and sponsors and said she thanks everyone for another great season.

“It’s a job well done,” she said.


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