Light Up organizing committee chair Benita Pedersen was frantically working the phones late last week following the most-recent COVID-19 restrictions implemented by the province Nov. 12 and following discussions with mayor Ralph Leriger Nov. 13, she got the go-ahead to proceed with the event, which will go down as the most unique Light Up in the town’s history.
“I am super excited about Light Up 2020,” said Pedersen, “When we as a community focus on what we can do rather than what we can’t do and add our creativity to the mix, magic can happen. And through this shared experience, we connect as a community.”
The reverse parade, which has become the standard in 2020 due to COVID-19, kicks off the night. From 6 to 8 p.m. floats and displays will be situated along the north side of 107th Street from 99th Ave. to 102nd Ave. — drivers are asked to head east starting from Highway 18 as walkers are discouraged.
Pedersen was coy on the number of floats she’s been able to secure, but promised many vehicles and displays, some farming equipment and at least one crane. There will be live music on the route as well as a DJ. Plus, there will be various mascots in attendance, including Olaf from Frozen and of course Santa Claus.
Keeping with the Light Up’s ‘Drive By Christmas’ theme, as all the events are drive-through only, the Hope Resource Centre will be putting on the ‘Hope Drive’N Dinner’ at Memorial Hall from 5 to 8 p.m. There they’ll be selling ham and cheese subs with all the extras for $10 and freshly-baked pigs-in-a blanket for $5 — all proceeds go to the Hope Resource Centre.
Across town, the Westlock Gospel Chapel, located at 10227 - 97 Street, will hand out free hot chocolate and bags of freshly-popped popcorn from 6 to 8 p.m. The chapel has also organized a live nativity scene that includes many animals including a donkey.
Finally, Youth Unlimited (formerly the Someplace Else Youth Centre) located at 10612 - 102 Street, will be handing out free hot chocolate and candy bags from 4 to 8 p.m.
As part of Light Up, there will be opportunities Friday and Saturday for kids to have photos taken with Santa. Pedersen said Santa Claus will be separated by glass from the children and the edge of the glass will be photoshopped out of the final picture — photos must be booked in advance by visiting the Facebook page of Westlock Christmas Light Up Committee.
She also notes there are still a number of ways to get involved with the event as it’s not too late to register a float — she can reached by phone, or text at 780-349-0181 or via e-mail at email@example.com. Also, donations to the candy campaign are being accepted this week at Youth Unlimited until noon Thursday, Nov. 19.