Arrow Lakes News
“It was great. It’s nice to see all these people out. it’s better than past years,” Elaine Lindsay said during the annual Festival of Lights held December 5. This year instead of the parade heading west down Broadway it traveled east. Revellers were also able to enjoy Christmas carol singing, a night market, food vendors, a chili cook off and two dance performances including the Mythmaker fire dancers from the Slocan Valley.
Festival attendee Chantal Broughton said, “It’s better to have it downtown with all the businesses open.” This is the first year that the stalls and entertainment have been set up on Broadway; in past years it has been held at the gazebo park on Eighth Ave.
“This is the best we’ve ever had. I would love to see it expanded even further down Broadway next year,” Mayor Karen Hamling. She estimated the crowd to be more than 400 people.
Several hundred people descended on the courthouse block of Broadway—circulating through the stores, open later than usual for the Moonlight Madness event— singing carols under the lamplight and keeping warm around supervised burn barrels specially decorated for the occasion. Christmas music was piped in from an excellent sound system set up on the patio of the Broadway Deli, inside which local photographer Deb Booth was having a wine and cheese meet and greet. Overwaitea was cooking up smokies on the grill. Nakuspians were spoiled for activities, from sampling chili for the cook-off contest benefitting the Heart and Stroke Foundation, to buying borscht, mulled wine, hot chocolate with handmade marshmallows and fresh popcorn at several booths either run by local businesses or raising funds and awareness.
Calgarian Daryl Shanks, who is visiting the area, said, “It’s really nice to see so much Christmas spirit in one small village. They did a great job.”