By Ian Croft
With the holiday season coming up soon, the Taber and District Chamber of Commerce is partnering up again with the Town of Taber to bring the Taber Winter Festival.
It will occur on Nov. 20 and will run from 5 to 11 p.m. The town will be also offering free swimming, skating and bowling alongside the sales that the chamber businesses will be having.
“We are partnering with the chamber,” said Lace Lutz, arts, culture, and events coordinator for the Town of Taber. “All of the businesses that are chamber members are doing sales for the Friday. People are encouraged to shop local with coupons that they get and if they purchase something they get a stamp and at the end they can submit their stamp to be put into a drawing and have a chance to win chamber bucks which could be used at any of the chamber businesses.”
Lutz also discussed some of the other events the town will be hosting at the Winter Festival. This will include a tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. on 48 Ave./53 St., having a bonfire in the middle of the street to keep all the shoppers warm, hay rides around town on horse-pulled carriages from 6 to 8 p.m., and free kids crafts to go also from 8 to 6 p.m.
Santa Claus will also be present at this year’s Winter Festival and will be available for socially-distant photos from 6-8 p.m. on 48 Ave.
Due to the newly-implemented COVID-19 guidelines, the craft sales that are held within the Taber Community Centre and Legion will be cancelled this year as well as the Jingle Sale.
When asked for comment, Bruce Warkentin, chair of Taber Winter Festival said, ”Each year, the Taber and District Chamber of Commerce hosts an event in November to usher in the Christmas season. This year, the event is happening on November 20, 2020. We encourage everyone to come out to support our local businesses. Now more than ever, our local businesses need our support as 2020 has been a tough year. These business owners are the people who support your kid’s school; coach your kid’s sports; and sponsor your charity events. Our community wouldn’t be the same without them.”
“We are going to have lots of lights for lighting up the town that night that is kind of our goal. Outside events so everyone is a little bit safer but still encouraging of course the social distancing and hand washing,” said Dawn Phillips, director of recreation. “And encouraging people to shop local and support our local businesses.”
The businesses are also encouraged to put out decorated trees out on the sidewalks so that when the Town hold their lighting ceremony for their big tree all the businesses will light up their own tree simultaneously.
In an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19 the town will be doing two hay rides and will be keeping the numbers to a minimum on each. The town will also be setting up signs posted in the area reminding people to social distance as well as setting up hand sanitizer stations.
Phillips commented, “With the numbers going up in town we just want to remind everybody to be extra vigilant that night. Make sure that they are social distancing and of course all the stores in town are encouraged to continue to do that as they already are.”