As the snow blanketed the streets of Stettler and the Christmas tree at the centre of Main Street was lit up in the evening on Friday, Nov. 27, the town donned a festive look, being transformed into a Christmas wonderland.
“Light the Night has been going for many years, to prepare for the evening we ensure that Santa is able to make it for the event,” said Stacey Benjamin, executive director, Board of Trade. “ATCO partners with us to ensure the tree is lit with representation from our citizens of the year and providing snacks.”
ATCO has been partnering with the Stettler Board of Trade to light up the tree since 1999.
“We were very happy with the turnout this year, with people joining us on each of the corners around the tree to watch it be lit, symbolizing the holiday season,” said Benjamin.
The Town of Stettler sponsors the Christmas tree and has it decorated every year.
“There were many eager faces waiting for their chance to meet Santa,” added Benjamin. “In the hour that Santa was out at the tree, he was able to talk with just under 100 children, and it was a great evening to be outside mingling with friends with the weather being one of the best we’ve had for this event.”
“Although we have been partnering since 1999 with the Board of Trade, the tree has been on Main Street for many more years prior to our event,” said Bryon Schwartz, customer services supervisor, ATCO Electric. “Each year we raise money from the sales of hot dogs or cookies and hot chocolate for a local charity, and this year it is the Stettler Food Bank.”
From the crowds that had gathered on the streets, it was easy to see the palpable excitement, especially among the children to meet Santa.
According to Benjamin, with Shop Stettler participants hosting Santa, the financial needs for the evening were quite minimal.
“Businesses are very involved with Moonlight Madness and we encourage organizations to join us for the evening to bring people out to celebrate the spirit of the season.”
This year there was a street hockey set-up too, behind the tents, and Benjamin hopes that in the future years it will grow and more people will join in the acitivity.