It was another fantastic Santa Claus Parade, Moonlight Madness event and Festival of Trees night in Fort St. James Nov. 30.
The parking was full Friday afternoon, as traffic bustled about the downtown attending some of the afternoon events such as the Chilli Blankets at Integris, where free bowls of chilli and cups of hot chocolate were being given out. The spot was also a collection point for donations of warm winter clothing or blankets, the Rotary Christmas Food and Toy Drive and featured some Christmas karaoke.
The weather was chilly, with a cold wind and snow for most of the day, but the snow stopped not long before the parade got going, and so spectators may have had a cold wind to contend with, but they at least did not have to worry about the snow blowing in their faces as they watched.
There were just enough floats in the parade to give the crowd a great representation of some of the Christmas spirit of the community, but not so much everyone had to freeze to death to do it.
Newlands once again had a shockingly impressive float, how they manage to put such a great float together year after year is an ongoing mystery.
But they were all good, and there were some great classic cars and the fleet from the fire department to fill out the parade as well.
Once the crowd had their pockets filled with candies from the parade, most of the spectators stopped in for a visit to the Festival of Trees, this year raising money for the Grade 8 trip to Haida Gwaii.
The Northland tree with the snowy owl seemed to be a hot ticket item, but there were also some really unique tree and decoration ideas as well. TABA Enterprises had the winning bid for the Northland tree, with a final bid of $380. TABA had also donated a tree to the festival and purchased two from the event.
The Overwaitea wreath made up of holiday cookie cutters was commented on a number of times, and so was the Ladies Auxilliary Fire department tree, made as an outdoor tree, with garlands of peanuts, dried fruit and popcorn and other treats to attract the birds.
One I found particularly impressive was the wreath in a snowflake shape made out of musical sheets from Lakeshore Pharmacy, which also included some flowers made from the same paper sheets.
The Festival of Trees raised $3,771 towards the Grade 8 trip.