Athabasca and area residents know it’s getting close to Christmas when they hear these two words: Moonlight Madness.
Dubbed as the unofficial kick-off to the Christmas season for the past two decades in Athabasca, Moonlight Madness will take place this Friday with a bevy of events to commemorate the annual event.
“There’s lots of stuff going on that evening,” explained Ron Laframboise, president of the Athabasca District Chamber of Commerce.
This year’s fireworks and parade will surely knock the wintery chill out of those in attendance.
All of the deals that local businesses in the community are offering this Friday should do the same.
“It’s always our biggest retail day of the year,” said Laframboise.
The parade will feature an assortment of business and community group entries with jolly old Saint Nick taking his rightful place at the rear of the parade.
It will begin at 6:30 p.m. beginning on 49th Street, heading south then west on 49th Ave and finishing up north on 50th Street.
The parade will conclude on the riverfront with Santa Claus turning on the Town Common Christmas light display. There will also be a bonfire on the riverfront in conjunction with the fireworks.
Once the riverfront is lit up with a barrage of Christmas colours, a fireworks display will follow over the Athabasca River. Those who attended last year’s event can look forward to a similar show this year.
The fireworks are made possible by contributions from local businesses in the community.
The Athabasca Community Band will also put on a concert for the second year in a row in coordination with the other Moonlight Madness events. The performance will consist of a variety of Christmas musical pieces. It will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Athabasca United Church.
A spaghetti dinner will follow the performance at the church.
Santa Claus will also be available for a free photo session after the parade at Servus Credit Union.
Savings, savings, savings
Apart from the parade and the rest of the entertainment scheduled, all of the deals local businesses will have on that day encourage residents to do their Christmas shopping closer to home.
Similar to the Parker Brothers’ famous board game, Monopoly, the Chamber-sponsored ‘Moonopoly’ contest offers shoppers a chance to clean up by collecting stamps on the game board printed in this week’s Moonlight Madness flyer.
The lucky ones will have the opportunity to win up to $500 in gift certificates.
The chamber is also asking when someone is dropping off their ‘Moonopoly’ contest form they bring in a non-perishable food item as a donation for the Good Samaritan Food Bank.
All forms and donations can be dropped off at Cheap Seats Sporting Goods.
Details on Moonlight Madness are available in the flyer inside this week’s Advocate. The flyer is also available at participating businesses or at athabascaadvocate.com.