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Christmas Lite-Up events feature Santa Parade and entertainment
If you’re not yet in the Christmas spirit, that will change this weekend when Osoyoos celebrates its 25th Christmas Lite-Up.
Events start with a concert Thursday evening and continue through Friday and into Saturday, with a highlight being the Santa Parade and Santa’s Night Out on Friday evening.
The format will be similar to previous years, but there are always some new additions, said Sue McKortoff, the Osoyoos councillor who is chairing this year’s event for the Osoyoos Festival Society.
This year is special because it’s the 25th anniversary, she said.
“We bought some glow sticks that have a star on top and we’re going to go along the parade route and hand these out,” said McKortoff.
Another added touch will be the Okanagan International Chorus will sing Christmas carols on Main Street next to Home Hardware before the parade starts, she said.
Events start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday with the String and Swing concert in the Osoyoos Mini Theatre.
This event featuring vintage Christmas music with the trio of crooner Jesse Peters, string player and vocalist Lizzy Hoyte and acoustic bassist Travis Switzer.
Tickets are $23 in advance from Imperial Office Pro or $23 at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
On Friday morning from 7-10 a.m. Smitty’s Restaurant is holding Toys for Tots and Teens. Free breakfast will be served to those who bring an unwrapped toy or cash donation. The toys are distributed by the Osoyoos Kiwanis Club to area families in need.
“That’s an amazing event,” said McKortoff, adding that many volunteers pitch in, including members of the Soroptimists.
The parade has been held at different times over the years, but organizers found it works best to hold it at 6:30 p.m. and call it a Lite-Up Parade, McKortoff said.
The parade follows the same route down Main Street as the year’s other parades at Easter and Canada Day, McKortoff said.
Hwy. 3 will be closed from the lights at the intersection of Hwy. 97 and 3 to the junction of Hwy. 3 and Kingfisher Drive and detour signs will be posted.
There will be barricades along the parade route and people are asked not to park on Main Street during the parade.
The Christmas parade normally has about 20 entries, she added. Parade entries are still being accepted and will be up until the parade starts. Entry forms are available at the Osoyoos Times.
With the retirement of Mike De Salaberry as Santa Claus, a new Santa, John Coburn from Midway, has been recruited.
Merchants who would normally close at 5 p.m. have been asked to stay open longer and offer sales or refreshments for downtown visitors.
There are two evening events.
Santa’s Night Out is a fundraiser for dry grad at the Sonora Community Centre. All are welcome and there is a $5 admission charged at the door. That runs from 7 to 10 p.m. There are refreshments and entertainment.
The regular Osoyoos Coyotes hockey game at 7:35 p.m. is also being advertised as a Christmas Lite-Up event. The Coyotes host the Kelowna Chiefs at the Sun Bowl.
There are two events on Saturday.
From 8:30 to 11 a.m. Breakfast with Santa and Photos is being held at Osoyoos Baptist Church and is sponsored by the Osoyoos Childcare Centre. The breakfast is $5 and children under 10 are free with donation to the food bank.
The Kiwanis Christmas Craft Fair takes place at Legion Hall from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is a donation to the food bank.