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PHOTOS: Holiday Kickoff brings festive cheer to downtown Fernie

Locals found sweet deals at downtown stores and met with Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Fernie marked the beginning of the festive season with the Holiday Kickoff on the weekend.

Fernie Seniors Centre started the party with an adult cookie decorating social on Dec. 1.

Downtown stores were open late into the evening on Dec. 2, and their twinkly lights and whimsical window displays drew groups of people inside to shop for discounted holiday gifts. The community group Cycling Without Age helped shoppers carry their parcels.

Shoppers treated themselves to hot chocolate and cozied up by the outdoor fires that were lit at The Arts Station Square. Carolers performed Christmas classics along 2 Ave, and Santa and Mrs. Claus visited with locals. The evening culminated in a grand display of fireworks.

Hosted by the City of Fernie, Fernie Chamber of Commerce and The Arts Station, the event was created to help support local business.

“Shopping local has far more benefits than you can imagine,” said the chamber’s executive director Wendy McDougall. “By shopping local it helps stimulate the local economy and keep more dollars in our community, which contributes to the growth and health of our small but mighty mountain town.”

The event coincided with B.C Buy Local Week, which ran province-wide from Nov. 27 to Dec. 3. According to the B.C Buy Local Campaign, for every $100 spent with a locally-owned B.C business, $63 is recirculated back into the provincial economy.