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Christmas Light Up ready to shine

Westlock's annual Christmas Light Up festival kicks off the holiday season and features the annual parade, plus a bevy of events Thursday to Sunday. Starting off with a Christmas Shopping Extravaganza Nov.
Westlock’s Christmas Light Up is back again with more to offer. This year the festival begins Nov. 16 with a Christmas Shopping Extravaganza downtown. The parade goes
Westlock’s Christmas Light Up is back again with more to offer. This year the festival begins Nov. 16 with a Christmas Shopping Extravaganza downtown. The parade goes Nov. 17, while the rest of the weekend features a bevy of events for the whole family.

Westlock's annual Christmas Light Up festival kicks off the holiday season and features the annual parade, plus a bevy of events Thursday to Sunday.

Starting off with a Christmas Shopping Extravaganza Nov. 16, shops throughout the downtown core will stay open until 9 p.m. For the full schedule of events see either Page 16 of this week's News or visit our Facebook page.

'They're going to have their Light Up specials too," said Christmas Light Up Committee organizer Benita Pedersen. 'We decided to hold it on a different day than the parade this year."

Things kick into high gear Nov. 17, with an art show at the Rotary Spirit Centre from noon until 4 p.m.

The Westlock Legion will host a roast beef supper for $12 a plate from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the lovable snowman Olaf from Disney's 2013 film Frozen will be out patrolling the streets from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m., giving warm hugs.

A ball hockey tournament will be held in the parking lot behind Home Hardware for the junior high and senior high kids.

Downtown businesses will be providing free hot chocolate and coffee to festivalgoers, who will be packing the streets for the annual Light Up Parade, which starts at 6:15 p.m. Floats start on 107 St. and 100 Ave. and then head south towards 104 St.

Pedersen said she was hoping for lots of floats, though she did not have an estimate as to how many will participate.

'This is the winter parade for Westlock," said Pedersen, who requests that parade watchers stay on the sidewalk. 'This is a once-a-year event. It's worth coming out to."

After the parade, hay rides will be offered in the core while the rest of the party moves indoors.

Memorial Hall will be the main hub of the evening's festivities featuring a concession run by the Westlock District 4-H and photos with Santa Claus.

The Little Elf Workshop will allow younger kids to construct their own presents for their loved ones and a family dance will be held later from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

'The Little Elf Workshop is all about teaching kids three to four years old the concept of giving," said Pedersen.

'Westlock Rotary Interact Club walks the kids through the workshop without their parents, then they select a gift and then wrap them. It's a nice surprise for their family."

Performing around the same time at 7 p.m. is award winning Soul singer Nuela Charles at the CATS Theatre. Tickets for the show are on sale at The Flower Shoppe or at the R.F. Staples school office.

Nov. 18 will feature an art workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Rotary Spirit Centre and free swimming at the pool from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Nov. 19 will feature a Christmas craft sale at the Westlock and District Community Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the four-day extravaganza will conclude with the classic Skate with Santa at the Rotary Spirit Centre from 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

'Community is about fellowship. Sitting at home on the computer and messaging someone is not enough. You have to get out and see people face to face," she said.

'Come out, maybe you'll bump into someone you haven't seen in awhile, or make some new friends."