The decorations were hung on the tree with care as the downtown community got ready to kick off the holiday season with the Downtown Lethbridge Business Revitalization Zone tree lighting.
BRZ Executive Director Sarah Amies says the tree lighting is happening in partnership with Christmas at Casa and the Allied Arts Council, who will be putting on different markets over the weekend. She explains the Friday, November 17th festivities will kick off at 5 p.m. with the lighting of the 18 foot tree and will go until 7 p.m. at Festival Square. Throughout the evening in Festival Square, there will be musical performances, free hot chocolate, and free cookie decorating from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“There will also be free pictures with Santa, where we encourage those wanting to get a photo with Santa to bring a non-perishable donation for the Lethbridge Food Bank.”
She says holding the event in partnership with groups such as Casa and the Allied Arts Council benefits the non-profits working together to put on the event and shows the wider community that the downtown core is unified and supportive of one another.
“For the community, what it means is it is a one-stop shop blast in the downtown. Come on down on Friday and start your Christmas shopping, have a look around and come back on Saturday or Sunday to make those purchases after seeing everything.”
Over the weekend, three different markets will be happening downtown, including Christmas at Casa, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery Holliday Market, and the Rise Above Connections Christmas Market. Along with the three markets, 21 merchants in the downtown area will be offering late-night shopping on the 17th and 18th. As part of this, the AAC will have Merry Merchants + Markets Map available at Casa for pickup.
Amies adds that along with the popularity of the markets and shopping events, last year, the BRZ noticed that the tree was a popular stop during the holidays for people not only to come and see but also to take photos of.