Festival gets community in Christmas spirit

Bragg Creek: Events to be held Dec. 7, 8, 14 and 15 noon to 4 p.m. each day

By: By Carmen Solana-Martin

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Dec 04, 2013 10:13 am

Event organizer Marina Cooke invites families to join in the fun and celebrate the holiday season at the Spirit of Christmas festival in Bragg Creek Dec. 8, 9, 14 and 15.
Event organizer Marina Cooke invites families to join in the fun and celebrate the holiday season at the Spirit of Christmas festival in Bragg Creek Dec. 8, 9, 14 and 15.
Carmen Solana-Martin

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A charming hamlet nestled in the foothills is inviting people to join in the holiday spirit with a visit with Santa and his reindeer, ride on a horse-drawn wagon and some comfortable Christmas shopping.

The Spirit of Christmas Festival will be held again in Bragg Creek on Dec. 7, 8, 14 and 15 from noon to 4 p.m. each day.

Family activities also include viewing ice sculptures, children’s face painting and storytelling at the Snowbird’s Chalet, and cookie decorating at Creekers Market & Deli.

Event organizer Marina Cooke said carollers will walk throughout the hamlet and lead sing-a-longs for revellers on wagon rides setting a magical Christmas scene.

“Bragg Creek is the perfect picturesque town that you see in Hallmark movies,” said Cooke. “When you visit you want to break out in John Denver songs.”

Cooke and other local merchants organized the event six years ago to bring tourists to Bragg Creek during the typically slow winter season.

This year the festival is especially important to the hamlet’s businesses who are still suffering from the loss of summer sales resulting from the June flood, said Cooke.

She said the support from the community this year has been phenomenal.

“The festival is going to be bigger and better than ever,” said Cooke. “Come out and have some old-fashioned holiday fun. I want people to return every year and make this a family tradition.”

New this year to kick-off the event is the Spirit of Christmas Light Parade which officially starts at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 from the Bragg Creek Community Centre parking lot. The parade will include floats lit brightly with Christmas lights.

Organizer Kim Coulter said the parade is a way for families, friends and neighbours to gather together to celebrate as a community and get into the spirit of the season.

“It’s nice to get together and for families to share special moments,” said Coulter. “I feel really positive about the parade and I hope it is something we’ll do every year.”

The parade runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and includes Christmas carols around a bonfire, turkey bowling and a snowman building contest.

During the festival, visitors can take photos with Santa for $10 outside the store Smack Cycles.

Hand painted Christmas ornaments will be on sale outside Creeker’s Deli & Market with $2 from every ornament sold going towards Easter Seals Camp Horizon.

Coy’s Christmas trees will be sold at the Bragg Creek Community Centre with part of the proceeds donated to the Bragg Creek Community Association.

The Bragg Creek and Area Chamber of Commerce, Bragg Creek businesses, Bragg Creek Ladies Auxiliary and Alberta Fire and Flood Restoration Services sponsor the Spirit of Christmas event.

For more information www.visitbraggcreek.com and www.facebook.com/pages-Bragg-Creek-Spirit-of-Christmas-Festival-Light-Parade/549901265093782


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