Shannon Brogan is holding a fundraising community dinner on Sunday, Dec. 9 at Brogan’s Diner in Langley. (Suzanne St-Germain/Special to Black Press)

WHAT’S IN STORE: Downtown Langley businesses getting into the spirit of Christmas

Editor Roxanne Hooper looks at efforts to promote Christmas and giving in downtown Langley.

Christmas has definitely arrived in downtown Langley City, kicking off in high style last weekend with all the Magic of Christmas festivities.

The cool but clear wintry weather definitely lent to the festive atmosphere along Fraser Highway, that has been lit up for the season.

In fact, a number of businesses went that extra mile, decorating their stores and even – with permission from cooperative landlords – erecting inflatables and adding extra lights on the roof lines to add to the holiday spirit, explained organizer Sherri Martin.

“The plan is to make the one-way sparkle, and have it featured in local light tours and holiday calendars,” Martin said.

This campaign, involving a team of 20-plus merchants, is dubbed City Sparkles and runs through until Dec. 31.

The first of what Martin hopes will be an annual effort is seeing businesses along the one-way being all decked out, but it’s also arranging for merchants to stay open late (until 8:30 p.m.) for holiday shoppers a few extra nights (tonight, Thursday, Dec. 6, as well as Dec. 13 and 20). Festive entertainers and buskers are expected to be serenading shoppers those nights, and there’s a chance to win $200 in downtown dollars.

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Shoppers help charities

This new, merchant-driven initiative is in addition to the Christmas campaign being run by the Downtown Langley Business Association (DLBA) this year.

After seven years of running Win Your Wish List, the DLBA has introduced a more charity-based campaign for Christmas 2018. It’s called Shop Your Heart Out.

“Langley is a very caring and generous community when it comes to those in need, so this was the perfect way for the business community to say, ‘thank you for the years of support, and we want to give back to our community’,”Langley’s Brogan’s Diner hosts fundraising dinnerLangley’s Brogan’s Diner hosts fundraising dinner DLBA’s executive director Teri James.

She described it as a “no-brainer” for them to change from a Christmas contest, to a Christmas guide that gives participating businesses an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ in their own words, as well as a contest where in addition to winning a $1,000 shopping spree, three lucky people will also have $500 donated in their name to their favourite Langley charity.

In addition, each participating business has donated $100, which will then be given to the top two Langley charities following an online voting process (people simply have to email info@downtownlangley.com, subject line “Langley Charity and the name of the charity they support), James explained.

Due to the “fantastic response” from community already, they are only accepting one vote per person/email address for the duration of the voting between now and Dec. 21, she clarified.

“That means … a total of $4,700 will be given to Langley charities, as a thank you from the business community,” James said.

A for the shopping sprees, the winning process is similar to past. Shoppers simply write their name and phone number on the back of their duplicate receipt, pop it in a ballot box, and they’re in the running.

This contest is open until Dec. 24, with the winner being announced Jan. 4. More details online.

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Brogans host dinner

I also want to draw attention to one downtown business in particular, and their giving spirit.

Shannon and her team at Brogan’s Diner (formerly Kalma) have been hosting free monthly community dinners for people in need in Langley for some time.

Well, now the team is introducing its first fundraising dinner on Sunday, Dec. 9. The hope with the $25 dinner and Christmas karaoke, is to raise $10,000 that will go towards more community dinners, plus Christmas hampers they’ve putting together for some local families in need.

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