Residents of Fernie gathered at the courthouse on Friday night to watch the city flip the switch on Christmas for the annual Light up the Night event.
Bundled up against the cold, community members enjoyed the twinkling lights display as well as some hot dogs cooked up by the Fernie Ghostriders.
Luka Zigler, a volunteer at the event, said that Light up the Night is a great way to put everyone in the Christmas spirit. Zigler, along with some other student volunteers were running games for kids, and judging by the steady stream of youngsters ready to play, it was very popular.
“We organized some games for the city and lots of kids have come and played. It’s pretty awesome,” he said. “We have throw a snowball into the snowman and we also have pin the nose on the reindeer.”
The only thing that seemed to distract the kids from the games was a visit from a jolly man in a red suit. Santa Claus hitched a ride on a vintage firetruck and left the reindeer at home for this particular visit.
When Mr and Mrs Claus arrived, families headed into the warmth of the courthouse for a chance to sit on Santa’s lap and profess their Christmas wishes.
With the lights sparkling, the hot chocolate flowing and a strong sense of community spirit, the event was a great way to kick off the holidays.
Taking advantage of the holiday spirit, downtown businesses were also open late on Friday night to encourage people to get their shopping started. Between the shoppers strolling down Second Ave. and the revellers taking in the lights at the courthouse, it was a busy night in Fernie.