Santa and Mrs. Claus hitched a ride on the South Similkameen Museum’s wagon to greet their fans at the Keremeos Light-Up parade in 2019. COVID has cancelled this year’s event. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Santa and Mrs. Claus hitched a ride on the South Similkameen Museum’s wagon to greet their fans at the Keremeos Light-Up parade in 2019. COVID has cancelled this year’s event. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Keremeos Light Up parade cancelled

Event can’t happen but organizers hope everyone lights up the Village instead

Keremeos’ signature Christmas Light Up and Parade is cancelled this year, but there are still ways to brighten spirits this holiday.

“This year has to be different. We are going with a community experience instead of the parade, hoping that businesses decorate and light up their store fronts,” said Similkameen Country manager Colleen Christensen.

“We will miss having the Light Up parade and Christmas craft sale this year, but we still want to see you virtually. Please share your holiday spirit by decorating your homes, businesses and organizations.”

“We are going with the theme ‘good ol’ fashioned Christmas’ and really trying to promote shop local.”

Last year, the parade carried a polka dot scene with more than a dozen floats and lit vehicles coming through.

This year’s lights and decorations are already going up in the village at 7th Avenue and there will be Christmas lights at Plaza Park on 11th Ave.

“I’m going to go all out at the Info Centre, decorating both the outside and the inside,” said Christensen.

Normally, Light Up is a two-day festival with a big parade on Friday and pictures with Santa and the craft show both Friday and Saturday.

READ MORE: Light Up Keremeos brightens spirits

The craft market has also been cancelled under the new provincial restrictions that came into place Nov. 19.

Masks were made mandatory everywhere and social gatherings of all kinds have been banned province-wide until Dec. 7.

“The Keremeos Light Up is one of our signature events of the year along with our May Rodeo, which is a three-day event. It’s been a tough year on all of us. I just hope we can get all these events back next year because the longer we don’t host them, it weakens our ability to make these events happen.”

Plus, months worth of planning go into these events, she noted.

“We have to focus on the positives. Our restaurants are still open, the visitor’s centre is open, and our stores and village is open and we will show our holiday spirit.”

Christensen is encouraging everyone who is able to do so, to brighten up the village in every way possible this season. If you do participate in Light Up virtually, post your pictures to Similkameen Country for everyone to enjoy.

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