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Lighting up the season in downtown Kamloops
The holiday season downtown kicks off on Thursday, Nov. 22, with the Lights in the Night Christmas Party, which runs from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Sponsored by the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association, it’s a night when merchants offer sales and special offers, hold appreciation events and do what they can to get everyone into the Christmas spirit.
The merchant-party stroll sees stores offering chances to win prizes every three minutes for three hours.
Prizes range from giveaways and products to gift certificates.
By the end of the night, 60 prizes will have been given out.
Shoppers can pick up their winnings at the information kiosk at 340 Victoria St.
In addition to the draws, there will be a street party at the intersection of Second Avenue and Seymour Street, with carolling, hay rides with Erin Valley Stables, entertainment, crafts and games.
BC Hydro’s Community Outreach Team will be on site, along with the Kamloops Brain Injury Society, which will be doing brain-challenging activities and giving away items.
The Kamloops and District Elizabeth Fry Society will have hot chocolate and children’s activities.
Kamloops Princess Parties will also be there with goodies, games and fun.
The highlight of the street party is the annual Christmas Tree lighting at 6 p.m. at St. Andrews on the Square, with Mayor Peter Milobar doing the honours, followed by a spectacular fireworks show.
As you wander downtown, you’ll encounter elves — courtesy of Dominion Lending Centres — handing out candy canes.
The Desert Sounds Harmony Chorus Carolers and Thompson Children’s Choir will be singing and Cinderella, Merida (the new Scottish Princess from the movie Brave) and Rapunzel will be meeting and mingling.
Big Steel Box is partnering with Kamloops Square and A&W to fill up the Kamloops Food Bank’s shelves.
During tonight’s event and the Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, Nov.. 24, Big Steel Box will be accepting donations at Kamloops Square — and handing out coupons for free hot chocolate at A&W.
Saturday is the big day in celebration as downtown streets are blocked off, sidewalks become congested and everyone waits for the 32nd annual Santa Claus Parade.
To start it off, Santa can be found sound asleep at Kamloops Square, waiting for his official wakeup call at 10:30 a.m.
After that, parade floats and marchers get ready for the 11 a.m. start of the annual event.
The parade route starts at Second Avenue and Victoria Street and heads east to Sixth Avenue.
Bring your letters for Santa as Canada Post will be collecting them along the route.
More information on the downtown celebrations can be found online here.