Central Alberta News

Pandemic forces modified Red Deer Lights the Night

City Hall Park ceremony cancelled but Santa will tour city neighbourhoods

A modified version of Red Deer Lights the Night is set to take place this Christmas season.

Red Deerians are invited to help the city light the night by turning on their home and business Christmas lights in unison at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21. A video showcasing the lights and decorations in City Hall Park will be shared on the city’s social media channels so Red Deerians can enjoy the view safely and from the comfort of their own homes.

“Red Deer Lights the Night is one of our city’s favourite annual events. Though the pandemic has required us to modify the details, we wanted to find ways for the community celebration to carry on,” said Bobby-Jo Stannard, Community Development Superintendent. “We’re inviting Red Deerians to join the celebration and light up their homes with us November 21, extending the event from downtown to neighbourhoods across the city.”

There are many other ways to celebrate the kick-off to the holiday season in 2020, including artisan markets hosted by the Downtown Business Association and Red Deer Arts Council, local shopping and dining opportunities, downtown lights and window art, and Ross Street Patio programming.

The festivities would not be complete without an appearance from Santa. Because young Red Deerians can’t visit him in person at City Hall Park this year, he will be touring local neighbourhoods on the Santa Bus. On Dec. 5 and 12, children of all ages are invited to watch from the window to see Santa wave as the bus drives by.

As a special feature for this year, local hockey fans have a chance to score some prizes from Hockey Canada, including Team Canada merchandise and game tickets for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Ice Hockey Championship. To enter the contest, Red Deer residents can submit photos of their Canadian, hockey-themed decorations online. More details on the contest will be announced in the coming days.

“We know many Red Deerians are disappointed with the postponement of the World Juniors tournament, and we’re thrilled to partner with Hockey Canada to keep the excitement going until we’re able to host the event,” said Stannard.