It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

And, in Meadow Lake, nowhere will this statement be more true than at Westview Playground when, on the evening of Thursday, Dec. 1, the City of Meadow Lake’s parks and recreation department once again hosts a community Christmas kick-off celebration. This marks the second year for the kick-off, an event that proved extremely popular the first time out.

“The event, which is free of charge, is planned for 5 to 8 p.m. and will feature a variety of attractions,” explained parks and recreation manager Regan Beck, “We have a couple different people who will be offering hay rides that evening, and we’ll close off the streets this year to create more accessibility. Last year, our estimations were blown away in terms of the number of people who showed up – there had to have been more than 300 people – so we’re expecting another huge crowd. We’ll also have carollers, a bonfire and hotdog roast, hot chocolate and apple cider and all of our outdoor skating facilities will be open and ready to go. It will be a nice, festive evening to get fired up for the Christmas season.”

The highlight of the evening will be the lighting of the community Christmas tree, which is scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. Last year, mayor Merlin Seymour had the honour of lighting the three, which was provided by Mistik Management Ltd.

“Mistik will be providing the tree again this year – they’re out there hunting for a good one as we speak,” Beck said. “Partnerships like this are critical for all these things we do. Mistik is bringing the tree and NorSask Forest Products is giving us some trim blocks for the fire. Jonas Samson Middle School is providing their fire pit to use again, we have singers from Jubilee Elementary and Carpenter High School, and a grant from Saskatchewan Lotteries. So much goes into an event like this to make it happen. When community groups work together there is no limit to what we can accomplish, and this is an example of that.”

Beck also said the event will feature even more lights and more decorations this year – courtesy of the community recreation grant – to give it even more of a festive feeling, while Santa Claus himself is also expected to be in attendance.

“I would be surprised if he doesn’t make an appearance,” Beck noted.

Beck also said he is happy to see an event that comes at no cost to participants, which, in turn, makes it an event open to everyone.

“Everyone can come out and enjoy the evening,” he said. “It’s events like this that bring out the Christmas spirit in everyone. It’s that Hallmark movie everyone always pictures. Until last year, we never had anything like this, and year one was fantastic and we hope for an even better event this year. We’ll keep growing this thing and hopefully add more layers each and every year. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be a great night.”

by Phil Ambroziak

by Phil Ambroziak