There's no avoiding it now. It's December, and whether you like it or not, Christmas spirit is in the air all over Squamish and the holiday festivities are just beginning. Highlighting the season this year are a couple of traditional community events coming up next Friday (Dec. 14).
The first is the always well-attended Christmas Market from 3 to 9 p.m. Described by co-organizer Cindy Cardiff as a “grassroots outdoor market,” the Christmas Market showcases all kinds of vendors from non-profit artisan crafts to food to the wares of a wide variety of local businesses. And that's not all. Other features of the market include live music, gift-wrapping services, children's activities and photos with Santa Claus and The Grinch.
The market “is encouraging people to come downtown, mingle with neighbours and shop locally for new gifts,” Cardiff said.
Apart from the organizers making absolutely no profit from putting on the market, they are also supporting three local charities: the Squamish Community Foundation, the Squamish Scouts, who will be selling hot chocolate, and Canine Valley, which encourage the donation of gifts for dogs.
New to the Christmas Market this year is the addition of a beer garden and a shift in location to Pavilion Park. The move is an “interesting” one, said Cardiff, who simply hopes the event is interesting enough for people to walk the extra block to get there this year.
“We want to bring back the Christmas spirit a little more.”
And while we're on the topic of “Christmas spirit,” Santa will be making his appearance on the streets of Squamish for the annual Santa Parade at 7 p.m. The parade this year will be mostly in keeping with tradition, but with an exciting new finale.
At the end of the parade, Santa will round back up to Stan Clark Park, flick the switch, and light the whole place up. But the jolly old elf won't be able to do it alone.
To help light up the park, the District of Squamish is asking for donations of multi-coloured outdoor light strands, each bearing a minimum of 70 lights. Donations can be dropped off at Scotties Liquor Store, or through parade organizer Shanda Dosanjh at email@example.com.