If you’re looking for something to help encourage the festive spirit then the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce has just the Friday night planned for you.
The annual Snowflake Festival is its way of bringing the community out to celebrate the season.
“It’s a nice family event and it’s a way for us to give back to the community as well,” said Patricia Shultz, the events manager with the organization. She also is thankful to the many Chamber employees and business members who are contributing to make sure that it all runs smoothly and that everyone has fun.
“We wouldn’t be able to put it on without our sponsors and our volunteers.”
From 6:30 to 9 p.m., the Perron District is going to be ablaze with crowds catching the fun and entertainment. If you’ve got kids in your life or if you’re all about the Yule otherwise then you really must get down to this event at least once.
First off, there’s the large Christmas tree at the St. Albert Community Hall. Everybody loves to watch the lights get turned on at the beginning of the evening, and it heralds in not only the festival but the season as well.
“That’s when everything really starts.”
After the lights go on, you can go inside the hall to catch Santa’s North Pole along with some kids’ arts and crafts activities, plus free mittens. There, Santa and Mrs. Claus will pop in for a visit to talk up peace and joy and whatever gift wishes you might have for Dec. 25.
Stick around Perron Street once you’re done there. There are carolers courtesy of the U of A Mixed Choir, a live ice sculpture by Kelly Davies and Charles Myers, and even more crafts and treats for the kids. It might not be too cold that evening but the hot chocolate, hot coffee, hot tea, and hot cider will still be appreciated by many. There’s shinny hockey on St. Michael Street too.
If you miss your chance to talk to the jolly old elf then there will be a postcard station at the post office where you can drop a line direct to the North Pole to make sure that your requests get registered.
Organizers have something special called the Winter Boulevard (a.k.a. St. Thomas Street) lined up. That’s where you can get your sleigh rides, stop by the petting zoo, enjoy another snack like roasted apples and get your picture taken at the Festive Family Photo Op with a professional photographer. There’s a Winter Soundstage as well, where Visionary Centre for Performing Arts will have some talented young performers showing off their entertaining skills.
The music will be wafting over the chilled air as you walk down the street to St. Albert Place to watch Eric Huang of Edmonton’s Reign of Fire put on an incredible fire performance on the plaza. It’ll get nice and toasty there. The 2nd St. Albert Scouts will have a few fire pits stationed throughout the area just in case you need a quick warming up. Capital FM will also be playing holiday music to make sure everybody gets in the spirit and stays there.
Inside, hearts will be warmed with storytelling at the St. Albert Public Library. The St. Albert United Church handbells will be ringing as people walk to and fro, enjoying Gingerbread Lane or going to the Musée Héritage Museum for more crafts and treats. There will be balloon art and Sparkle Tattoos as well.
A fire truck will be stationed on the street as will a city bus courtesy of St. Albert Transit and the Kinettes. That’s where the Fill-a-Bus gets its first introduction to the masses this holiday season. If you can bring a donation of non-perishable food or a new, unwrapped toy for a child, then that’s the place to drop it off.
What’s best of all is that you can keep your wallet warm inside your jacket.
“There’s no charge for anything, but we do have a few food vendors. Everything else is free. We’re very appreciative of all of our sponsors to make it a free family event … which, these days, is not very often you can go anywhere without having to pay for anything.”
Please remember that there are road closures affecting Perron Street, St. Anne Street, St. Michael Street and St. Thomas Street. A free park and ride will be available from the Village Transit Station between 5:30 and 9:40 p.m.