Downtown Chilliwack will be wrapped in the Christmas spirit for the month of December.
The Chilliwack Business Improvement Association (BIA) is bringing all sorts of attractions to the downtown core, from carollers to a carousel, live jazz music to a kids’ parade, plus a chance to win $1,000 in gift cards at local businesses.
To celebrate the holiday season they have some “wonderful” events and promotions lined up, said Trevor McDonald, executive director with the BIA.
The excitement takes place from Dec. 1 to 23, with the big kickoff event being the Rotary Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 5:30 p.m. In addition to the festive parade, there will be other events downtown that day, and on subsequent Saturdays.
On Dec. 3, 10 and 17, people can take in live music throughout the downtown core. There will be carollers from Secondary Characters in full costume singing outside the Royal Hotel and other businesses, a jazz band at Five Corners and buskers spread throughout the area.
From noon to 1 p.m. each of those Saturdays, Santa will be strolling through the streets visiting people. Then from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. he will be in his workshop on Thunderbird Lane where folks can visit and get photos with him.
But there’s another reason to head downtown.
One lucky shopper will win 10 $100 gift cards of their choice for local downtown merchants.
It’s part of the BIA’s ‘Super Shop Saturday’ promotion where they hand out $500 in gift cards each month.
“On top of the BIA’s monthly ‘Super Shop’ where you can win $500, this one is extra special because it’s $1,000,” McDonald said.
In order to enter the December Super Shop Saturday promotion, people need to come downtown between noon and 3 p.m. on Dec. 3, 10 and/or 17 with receipts showing they’ve shopped downtown. For every receipt from a downtown transaction in December, people will get one entry into the $1,000 shopping spree draw. To enter the regular monthly Super Shop Saturday promotion like/follow the @downtownchwk Instagram page.
The draw for the $1,000 in gift cards happens on Monday, Dec. 19.
“How fun is that, right before Christmas?” McDonald said. “Just show us your receipt that you’ve done some shopping downtown in December.”
The downtown Chilliwack boundaries are: from Railway Avenue north to Central Community Park, and from Prospera Credit Union (Wellington Avenue and Mary Street) east to 7-Eleven (Yale Road and Williams Street).
Additionally, the first 50 people to show up outside the BIA office (46115 Yale Rd.) on those three Saturdays between noon and 3 p.m. will be given a swag bag of items from local merchants.
For the kids, Saturday, Dec. 17 will be the day to be downtown.
At noon that day, kids can take part in a parade led by Santa. He will walk with the kids to different shops where they will get treats and goodies. There’s no need to bring candy buckets as children will be given bags at the beginning of the parade.
The kids’ parade starts in the parking lot of District 1881 (corner of Yale Road and Nowell Street, where the Ferris wheel stood last Christmas) and ends at Central Community Park around 1 p.m. At the park, kids will get a free hot chocolate and popcorn.
This year, the parking lot where the kids’ parade starts will be home to a different ride – a carousel.
The carousel runs from Dec. 1 to 24. Hours are Monday to Friday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m., and on Christmas Eve from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are $5.
And there’s still more happening downtown that month.
On Dec. 9, 10, 16, 17 and 23 there will be a live music stage at the back of Woolly Dog Alley.
Here’s the lineup: Jordain Culpepper on Dec. 9 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sue Breton on Dec. 10 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Ben Crosby on Dec. 16 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Jada McKenzie Moore on Dec. 17 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Sue Breton on Dec. 23 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
McDonald added that Chilliwack will be brighter in December – literally.
Courtesy of Northern Lights and Fraser Valley Christmas Lighting $15,000 worth of lights have been strung downtown thanks to a provincial grant through the Chilliwack Economic Recovery Network.