The magic of Christmas is coming to the Town of Crossfield on Dec. 1 and 2 in the form of twinkling lights, Santa Claus, sweet treats, and much more.
“Twinklefest” and “Winter Wonderland” will be held back to back with numerous other Christmas activities happening throughout Crossfield.
“It's a really exciting time of year, I think especially for the young families and the younger kids,” said Eris Latham, Crossfield's recreation and community events coordinator. “It does really draw a lot of different demographics together, especially Twinklefest.”
People enjoy the bonfires around town and Latham added it’s a great opportunity for new community members to meet residents young and old.
Twinklefest was canceled last year due to the bitter cold, but it is back this year to light up the Town’s community Christmas tree in Banta Park.
“Santa will be there; he's the guy that is lighting up our Christmas tree and he's a big hit for all the kids,” Latham said. “He generally walks around handing out candy canes if time allows him to do that.”
Crossfield’s fire department will also be present at Twinklefest, collecting food donations for the Crossfield Christmas hamper program.
The annual event runs from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Dec. 1 at Banta Park, with a number of other activities happening throughout the Town.
The local Chamber of Commerce runs the Bows on Businesses event where many of the Chamber’s businesses take part in a late night shopping extravaganza, according to Latham.
Residents braving the mad dash for Christmas shopping that night will have access to special deals, treats, and fun activities.
“I know the Red Tartan Hair Design salon in town is going to be doing Christmas Karaoke,” Latham said. “Big Bear’s Liquor Den is going to be doing a tasting that night, and some other businesses will have some activities as well.”
Twinklefest used to collaborate with the local AG Society’s house decorating contest to bring even more spark to the community, but this year is more about displaying all the Christmas lights with the “pièce de résistance being the community Christmas tree,” Latham said.
Live ice sculpting by Cold Creative will also take place during Twinklefest, where a picture frame will be sculpted out of ice that people can stand behind in the days after for a photo.
The following day the Town will host Winter Wonderland specifically geared towards kids from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Crossfield Community Centre.
This annual event has been ongoing for over a decade, Latham noted, but wasn’t always done on the same weekend as Twinklefest.
“We figured we would combine the two days to really kick start the holiday season,” she said.
Winter Wonderland is generally a sellout with 200 children registering, plus their family members, she noted, which equates to about 500 people coming through the doors.
The first and most popular activity of that event includes a kids-only stop-and-shop.
“That aspect of [Winter Wonderland] is where the kids get a chance to see the little store that we've set up and do some Christmas shopping for their mom, dad, siblings, or grandparents,” Latham said.
The Town has purchased hundreds of items kids can shop from and the cost for each item is only $2, helping kids get their Christmas shopping done for a bargain.
The other two aspects of Winter Wonderland include professional photos with Santa Claus as well as Christmas cookie decorating.
The cookies are made by the local Donut Man shop, and stations will be set up with sprinkles and icing.
“Sometimes the [cookies] make it out of the building, other times it's kind of a second breakfast for them,” Latham said.
Professional photos with Santa are included in the registration cost of the event and photos are emailed to parents a few days later.
Registration costs $5 per child and can be done online at crossfieldalberta.com.
According to Latham, there were still 50 spots left as of last week.