This years Holiday Kickoff combines the ‘Light up the night’ and Shopping kickoff events in years past. Pictured: The light up the night event from 2017 (Phil McLachlan/The Free Press)

This years Holiday Kickoff combines the ‘Light up the night’ and Shopping kickoff events in years past. Pictured: The light up the night event from 2017 (Phil McLachlan/The Free Press)

Fernie to kick off holiday season with lights, fireworks and sales

The Holiday Kickoff combines events from pre-COVID to support buying local and getting into the holiday spirit

This Friday November 26 is the first official ‘Holiday Kickoff’ in Fernie, combining shopping deals, holiday events and cheer.

The initiative, which is lead by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce, is in partnership with the City of Fernie, Fernie Museum, The Arts Station, Fernie Heritage Library, Fernie Senior Citizens Society and Fernie Pride Society, and is intended as a way to combine a handful of pre-COVID events into one big kickoff for the holiday season.

“We’re trying to put together a new version of some older things that happened in Fernie pre-pandemic,” said executive director of the chamber, Brad Parsell.

He described the Holiday Kickoff as an evolution of events like the city’s holiday lights, and the chamber’s shopping kickoff.

Parsell said that by combining the events, they could support each other.

“There’s a real opportunity here to make a signature holiday event (for Fernie)”, he said.

“I think it’s really important to recognise that local businesses still aren’t out of the weeds.

“It’s been a tough few years, we know that people do a tonne of shopping over the holidays, and it would be great to focus that locally.”

Throughout the day, the initiative will have a #SpendItInFernie Giveaway, where if you make a purchase at a local business on November 26, you have a chance to win a $1,000 giftcard to your local business of choice.

A raft of local businesses will be running sales events with extended shopping hours, while community groups will be running activities around town.

The Griz himself will be stopping by Fernie early, so you’ll see him out and about in the afternoon.

For the first time since March, Fernie will also see a fireworks display in the evening. Locals are invited to gather (safely) at Station Square at 6:45 for carols, speeches, a ceremonial lighting up of Christmas lights, and a fireworks display.

For the full schedule and list of participating businesses, head to the Fernie Chamber of Commerce website. Here’s a link.

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scott.tibballs@thefreepress.ca
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