Christmas carols will be ringing out across the courthouse lawn at the Festival of Lights on Dec. 6.

Winterfest just over a week away

As December approaches, volunteers from the Prince Rupert Special Events Society are preparing for the 18th Annual Winterfest.

As December approaches, volunteers from the Prince Rupert Special Events Society are preparing for the 18th Annual Winterfest.

The two-day community festival will kick off on Friday, Dec. 6 and run until Saturday, Dec. 7 and will feature a variety of fun activities for the whole family.

This year, the Festival of Lights will take place a little earlier than usual at 6 p.m. so people can make their way to the Lester Centre of the Arts to watch Charles Hays Secondary School’s musical production Beauty and the Beast at 7 p.m.

The Festival of Lights will take place in front of the court house, and will include free musical entertainment and refreshments, as well as the lighting of the trees.

“We are presently restringing all of the trees with in-excess of 50,000 bulbs,” Joy Sundin of the Prince Rupert Special Events Society said, adding that includes the snowfall lights.

Returning this year will be the Gingerbread House Decorating contest hosted by the Rupert Square Mall, which hasn’t taken place for a number of years. The entries will be on display throughout Winterfest, with people interested in participating needing to pick up an entry form at the mall. The contest deadline is Dec. 6.

The majority of Winterfest events will take place on Saturday, Nov. 7, including the Santa Claus Parade, which Sundin said is in need of entries. As of late last week, there were only a couple groups signed up for the parade.

“We encourage any groups to come forward and create a float and some fun for the children,” Sundin said.

“We don’t want Santa going down the street by himself.”

The Special Events Society is also calling out for more entries for Sailpast, which will take place on Saturday evening. So far, eight vessels have signed up to participate.

Sailpast was initiated 32 years ago by the late Dave Martin, with his family planning something special this year. The family have created a plaque they will hand out to the best boat this year, something they plan to do annually for now on.

“There will be free refreshments again, a huge bonfire, music and a time to have fun with your family and friends,” Sundin said, adding the Gitmaxmak’ay Dancers will also perform.

Other activities taking place during Winterfest will include fireworks, art and craft fairs, holiday-themed contests, photos with Santa, the annual WinterSong performance, Christmas readings, free skating and swimming and more.

Look for the full Winterfest schedule in the next edition of the Northern View.

Anyone interested in entering in the parade or Sailpast is encouraged to call the special events office at (250) 624-9118 or email the society at

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