Front Page Story in Nov. 22 Edition of Monday Morning News
Morinville Christmas may still be another month away, but Morinville is getting into the festive spirit this weekend with the annual Lite Up the Nite Christmas Festival, a three-day event that illuminates the streets as well as the spirits of many Morinville residents.
The festival begins Friday with the annual Morinville Fill-A-Bus initiative, kicks into full gear Saturday with a full day of activities, and winds down Sunday afternoon with a free skate at the Ray McDonald Sports Centre.
Community Services Administrative Assistant Melodie Steele is hoping residents will come out and participate in the wide variety of activities the Town of Morinville has lined up for this year.
“We see this as an opportunity for the citizens of Morinville to come out and get involved with the community, kick off the Christmas season and get into the spirit and enjoy a family-oriented event that really brings us together and gets us going in the Christmas Spirit,” Steele said.
Saturday’s activities begin with the Pancake Breakfast with Santa, running from 9 a.m. until noon at the Royal Canadian Legion and sponsored by the Morinville Lion’s Club.
G. P. Vanier will play host to a number of family activities beginning at 10 a.m. with children’s crafts and face painting running until 1:30 p.m.
Steele said the Town has booked the Canadian Acappella Group Hoja to perform from 11 a.m. until noon when magician Brian Lehr will take over the entertainment duties. But there is more in store at Vanier for the afternoon.
“We have a group coming in called Human Canvas,” Steele said, noting the company of face painters will be on hand from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
But the big event is set for 5 p.m. with the Lite up the Nite Christmas Festival parade. Steele said the route begins on 100 Street near the Sturgeon County building and will travel north to the corner of 100 Avenue where it will head westward past the Town of Morinville offices.
“We’ve got a fair number of parade entries and they have been encouraged to put lots of lights on their floats to help us Light up the night,” Steele said. “At 5:30, after the parade has proceeded by, we have the official ceremony where a member of the Town Council will be setting off the lights that line main street and St. Jean Baptiste Park.”
Capping off the day is a fireworks display commencing at 5:45 p.m.
A free public skate will be held at the Ray McDonald Sports Centre Sunday afternoon from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. sponsored by Tim Hortons.
Fill-A-Bus precedes festival weekend
This weekend’s Lite up the Nite Festival is not just about feeding Morinville’s need for a community gathering. It’s also about feeding those members of the community who are in need.
Once again this year, Morinville will send its community bus to a number of locations to be filled with food donations, but this year they have broadened their scope beyond the traditional collection spots.
“We’ve got sort of an extension of the Fill-A-Bus program this year where we’ve invited the schools to run a program where they’re gathering goods,” Steele said, adding the Town will pick up the donations at local schools this Thursday. “We’ll make sure all of that gets transferred into the bus for Friday morning.”
The Morinville Fill-A-Bus will be parked at Chris and Tracy’s No Frills from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Nov. 26 and at Sobeys from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. the same day.