Christmas season in Nakusp was officially kicked off on Dec. 2 with the annual Celebration of Light.
A light snow started falling early in the evening, helping residents get into the Christmas spirit and barrels decorated with snowmen and reindeer had fires burning inside them to help keep people warm during the chilly evening.
Various events for the celebration took place throughout the day, including holiday sales at some of the local shops, sumo suits and a bouncy house at the Nakusp Auditorium. A free skate at the Nakusp Arena took place where Santa himself made an appearance, skating with the children on the ice and giving out candy canes and hugs.
For some community members, the celebration is a chance to do something with the whole family.
“I just love that there’s an activity that we can bring our kids to — they’re so few and far between,” said Kaitlyn Wethal. “It’s nice to have things like this that get you out and seeing everybody.”
Wethal and her family have been coming to the celebration since it started, and have been to every one of them.
While some aspects of the festival have remained the same, such as many of the shops staying open late, other parts of the festival have had to change. In an effort to keep the celebration focused on Nakusp’s downtown area, there was no house decorating contest this year.
Another new thing organizers had to deal with was health permits.
“Each vendor needed a temporary food service permit, so that was kind of new this year, and all of our vendors had to have liability insurance,” said Susan Kostuch, the event’s head organizer. “It posed a little bit of a challenge in getting everything done on time.”
Though there may have been some ups and downs in getting ready for the celebration, everything was ready in time for the main event: the Light Up Parade.
Nakuspians both young and old lined the street trying to find the best spot to see the man in red as he was driven along with several local children hopping a ride on his sleigh.
Following the parade was a performance by dancers from Move on the Kusp, and what was for many the highlight of the evening: IgNight, a group of fire dancers.
The group mesmerized the audience, twisting, turning, and undulating, holding staffs, hoops, even an umbrella, which were all ablaze in an orange glow, giving off a radiant heat. One dancer seemingly held fire in the palms of her hand.
For Kostuch, choosing a favourite part of the evening was difficult.
“I think the fire dancers are always a big hit,” she said. “I like watching them, and they’re something unique, and I really enjoyed watching Cassia and her dancers. The parade was great, and there were lots of participants. It’s hard to say what my favourite was, it was all good.”