Pincher Creek's streets and shopping venues were full of cheer on November 20. Hundreds of people wrapped themselves in layers and braved the wind and chill for the annual Countdown to Christmas and Parade of Lights.
There were several events during the daylight hours and into the evening, including free swimming, family skating, and figure skating at the Memorial Community Center, a free movie at the Fox Theatre, and a pizza party for kids at the Metis Office in Pincher Creek's Provincial Building. Allied Arts held an Open House at the Lebel Mansion, which featured festive jazz by the Big Little Band.
Three maker and craft markets were held around town. Various businesses throughout town gave away hot cider and cookies in celebration of the Christmas season, and there was face painting for the kids. Cookies and hot chocolate were served around a bonfire at Cenotaph Park. Young Parkin and McNab offered a Plinko game, giving away prizes, hot chocolate, and popcorn. Axia set up a tent to solicit support for their fibre optic internet proposal. A Kids Carnival was held next to the Grill on Main Street, and was quite the popular event for some of Pincher Creek's youth. Silver Reins 4-H held a bake sale fundraiser. A street hockey tournament was held after the parade.
The Parade of Lights, hosted by the Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce, started off in the Ranchland Mall parking lot before wending its way down to Main Street. Dignitaries included Pincher Creek Mayor Don Anderberg and Foothills MP John Barlow. Nicki Schoening had many minion helpers for her C&D Floral float, which won first place in the judging. Kids of all ages on the floats showed great spirit by waving and calling out to the crowds lining Main Street. Christian Davis of the Pincher Creek Voice/Pincher Creek Multimedia was the Christmas DJ on Main Street. Local chanteuse Alexandra Morgan warmed up a frosty night with her singing after the parade had passed.
Downtown did not host all of the action. Up at Ranchland Mall Adam Schoening sang Christmas Carols, Mrs. P's celebrated an anniversary (stay tuned for that story), a number of other sales and family oriented events were held, and the always popular balloon drop was held simultaneously for children and adults, one for each age group at opposite ends of the mall. Balloons with prize certificates rained down on the crowds. A mature youngster, Walker Anderson, seeing a smaller child crying because they did not get a balloon, gave up his to cheer the other child. Congratulations, Walker, you embodied the spirit of Christmas in that moment.