When the heavy snow began to fall on Thursday, event organizers at Stettler’s annual Festival of Lights felt a twinge of worry – but despite the scary roads and cold weather, people still made it out to events, Thursday, Nov. 27.
The event most impacted by the weather was the Sounds of the Season concert, which saw two of the five acts booked to perform have to cancel due to road conditions.
Lann Lieurance and Hearts of Harmony had to cancel because plows couldn’t keep up with the snow and in several areas, highways were closed or highly recommended as ‘do not travel.’
“I knew as soon as I saw the weather I was likely to get a phone call, and I did,” Sue Peterson, committee chair for the festival, said. “There’s no hard feelings. The Hearts of Harmony come from all over Alberta and it was simply too difficult to travel. People at the show were really understanding.”
With only three of the five acts performing, there was about 60 minutes of unfilled time, which ended up being a good thing.
“People visited with each other, and they enjoyed that immensely,” Peterson said.
The Cantus Choir, Roddy Bryce and Chloe Shingoose made it to the concert and put on a festive holiday show.
“It was just a lovely evening,” Peterson said.
Children’s Wonderland a smash hit
Friday continued to see snow fall from the sky, and though crews tried to keep up, highways were still relatively snow-covered. This impacted the number of people attending the Christmas Market on Friday at the Community Centre, but the neighbouring Children’s Wonderland at the Agriplex was just hopping.
The hall was crammed with children and parents as kids had a chance to visit with Santa at the front of the hall, then take part in several different crafts while enjoying cookies and hot chocolate.
Children decorated cookies, made play-doh figurines, coloured and made marshmallow snowmen, all while parents looked on.
Children who visited with Santa received a stuffed toy or a small toy and candy, depending on age and preference.
By Saturday, the roads were easily traversed and the all-but-sold-out gala saw roughly 320 people pack the hall. The appetizers and meal, catered by Teresa’s Catering of Donalda, was met with delight, and after the meal, music from Dennis with Juiced Audio made the perfect backdrop for dancing.
“It was such a lovely evening,” Peterson said after the event.
The event ended up running later than anticipated because people were having such a great time, she noted.