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Oh, the Madness!

Athabasca’s annual Moonlight Madness lived up to its title Friday night as hundreds of residents packed 49th and 50th street to take in the parade, fireworks and lighting of the Christmas lights on the riverfront.
Santa Claus waves to spectators in the Moonlight Madness parade Friday night.
Santa Claus waves to spectators in the Moonlight Madness parade Friday night.

Athabasca’s annual Moonlight Madness lived up to its title Friday night as hundreds of residents packed 49th and 50th street to take in the parade, fireworks and lighting of the Christmas lights on the riverfront.

“It was a pretty good success when you have that amount of people show up for one day, especially for the size of our community,” exclaimed Ron Laframboise, president of the Athabasca District Chamber of Commerce.

Businesses in Athabasca were also packed all day and night long as people took advantage of great deals offered up by the one-day shopping frenzy to unofficially kick off the Christmas season in the region.

“It was fairly steady all day,” explained Laframboise.

The unseasonably warm November evening made the streets a little messier, but that didn’t stop children and their families and others from enjoying the lively parade floats. More than 10 floats made up Friday night’s parade and as candy fell from the air, anxious children took advantage of the ‘five-second rule’ on numerous occasions to clean up the tasty treats from the slushy pavement.

“The weather was great and people seemed to be enjoying themselves while they were shopping,” said Laframboise.

Once the parade concluded, the mass of people made their way down to the riverfront to watch jolly old Saint Nick light up the trees with the Christmas colours that we see every year around this time.

A spectacular fireworks display, which was made possible by donations from businesses in the area, made for a perfect ending for yet another successful Moonlight Madness in Athabasca.

Residents also had the opportunity to get their pictures taken with Santa Claus at Servus Credit Union once the fireworks were finished. There was also a large bonfire put on by the Athabasca emergency services departments on the riverfront to keep spirits warm as the temperatures started to drop.

The madness will return, but not for another 365 days.





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