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“Spectacular Mayhem” expected at Prince Rupert Winterfest

A weekend of family memory-making to light the season
NORAD told The Northern View Santa has been approved for take-off and landings in Prince Rupert on Dec. 24-25. Santa concentrates hard when making ‘just the right’ toy for a child. He leaves his works shop just as it gets dark at the North Pole to deliver on Christmas Eve.

Snowball fights and lighting the lights will make the night at Winterfest 2022. The much-anticipated festival is back with plenty for Prince Rupert residents to do between Dec. 2 and 4.

The weekend will be packed with magical moments for memory-making, from twinkling light displays to exciting opportunities to see Santa, fireworks and, arguably the most unbelievable of all, a “snowball” fight.

Alex Hogendoorn, president of the Price Rupert Special Events Society, explained that the “snowballs” will be made of small, polyester fluff balls.

“It is so fun and it’s mayhem. It’s so safe because the snowballs are completely harmless. It’s an absolute riot to watch,” he said.

Most of the action is happening on Saturday, Dec. 3, starting at 8 a.m. at Breakfast with Santa. Families can buy a hot meal of ham, eggs and pancakes. After their tummies are full they can get their photo with the jolly guy in red by donation.

Later in the evening, people can make their way to the court house where the tree lights will be illuminated at 7 p.m. with the community choir and band lifting spirits in the background.

A delightful children’s choir and other musical groups will serenade the crowd.

This is where the snowball fight will take place as well.

Winterfest goers are encouraged to visit both sides of the road with a quick walk to the Mariner’s Memorial Park, just in time to watch decorated boats float past during the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s SailPast.

Finally, fireworks over the harbour will be the grand finale for the night.

“There won’t be a parade because there were so few entrants. We want to make sure if we’re putting on an event, it’s memorable and it’s exciting. If that’s not where people are invested, then we want to put on an event that people want to participate in,” Hogendoorn said.

However, Santa will be rolling up in a “mini parade” during the tree lighting and there will be opportunities to take a selfie with him, he said.

Other highlights of the weekend include the SpongeBob Musical produced by Charles Hays Secondary School, the craft fair at the Highliner Hotel, a tree decorating contest for students in Rupert Square Mall, a photo exhibit to raise money for the Ukrainian refugees, a free public skate and a night of vinyl at Wheelhouse Brewing.

“What a way to kick off the season,” Hogendoorn said.

The Prince Rupert Special Events Society has been planning the events since September. Hogendoorn said he was pleasantly surprised with how many people are stepping up to volunteer.

 Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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