By Rob Vogt, Local Press Writer
It will be an opportunity to do some shopping, hear some great music, enjoy a fire take a horse-drawn wagon ride around Claresholm and begin to get into the Christmas spirit.
Downtown Claresholm and participating businesses will be lighting up the night with the 18th annual Old Fashioned Christmas late-night shopping event, put on by the Claresholm and District Chamber of Commerce, Claresholm Local Press, and Claresholm Economic Development, Friday, Dec. 1, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“It’s a great night to get out and shop without having to travel, supporting our local businesses and find some really good bargains,” said Amanda Zimmer, organizer and general manager of the Claresholm Local Press.
Beef on a bun will be sold for $5 out of the back entrance of Claresholm Pharmacy starting at 5:30 p.m, with the beef supplied courtesy of the Claresholm Lions Club. Signs will be posted directing people there.
All proceeds from the food sales will be donated to the Claresholm Food Bank.
The students of local music teacher Michelle DeDominicis will perform songs of the season in the downtown parking lot, and carol to various stores around the downtown.
At 6 p.m., the official lighting of the Christmas lights will be done by Roy Pachal, this year’s Claresholm citizen of the year, in downtown Ringrose Park.
Throughout the night, Christmas music will be played by John DeDominicis and Desperado Sound.
There will also be a bonfire, courtesy of the Claresholm fire department personnel, at the downtown parking lot.
A horse-drawn wagon driven by Doran Degenstein, from Fort Whoop-Up, will offer free rides from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., winding through the downtown.
Santa’s Gone Loonie will be at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. It is an opportunity for children to buy presents for their parents for a loonie.
The Claresholm and District Museum CPR station building and visitor information centre will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., offering refreshments such as hot spiced cider, live music on an antique piano, and old-fashioned candy bags for the children.
There will also be photos with Santa over at the Journeys Centre for $8 each on the east side of Claresholm from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
A free Santa shuttle will be running from downtown to the Journeys Centre and back.
Hot chocolate and cookies will also be available for $2. All proceeds will go to KidSport Claresholm.
The Station will also be a buzz with activities.
There will be an international bake sale from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with all proceeds going to the Station.
The Youth of Tomorrow will be offering a gift-wrapping service by donation from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with proceeds going to the youth group.
The Porcupine Hills Early Childhood Coalition will be offering a dad’s play by play where people can drop in to play with trucks, blocks and animals provided from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Some businesses in Claresholm will also be offering Christmas sweets, refreshments, and deals.
Everyone is welcome to come out to participate in all of the evening’s activities, starting at 5 p.m.
“It’s my daughter’s favourite day of the year,” Zimmer said. “And I want everyone to enjoy it as much as she does.”
By Rob Vogt, Local Press Writer