Organizers pleased with response to 2010 Christmas Festival

By Stephen Dafoe

Morinville – Festival results are coming in and this year’s tallies indicate Morinville’s Lite Up the Nite Christmas Festival 2010 may have been one of the best yet.

Under a canopy of darkness, Morinvillians and residents from neighbouring communities gathered along 100 Avenue and 100 Street Saturday night to watch the night lit up as the annual parade passed by en route to St. Jean Baptiste Park where Santa Claus threw the switch to light up the park. The lights will be lit nightly through the remainder of the holiday season.

Christmas Festival organizer Peggy Gilchrist said she was pleased with the enthusiasm shown by Morinville’s business community and community groups towards the parade. “We are thrilled by the response of people from Morinville to participate in this year’s Christmas Festival parade,” she said. “We had 20 plus floats and walkers in the parade, showing fantastic enthusiasm for the evening. All it took was some volunteer hours, some participation and an imagination for how to best light up the night.”

Kid’s of all ages may have enjoyed the evening’s parade, park lighting and fireworks display, but there was plenty for families to do earlier in the day from the Morinville Lion’s Club’s breakfast with Santa to a full roster of events at Vanier School.

“The turnout for the kid’s events were excellent,” Gilchrist said, adding the Canadian Acappella Group Hoja had adults and children singing and dancing in the gymnasium. “Brian Lehr, our magician had everybody participating and not wanting him to leave at the end of it.”

However, not all of the children’s activities were of the performing kind. Gilchrist said the craft table was a popular event for kids to participate in.

Events involving Santa and food were also popular. Gilchrist said 115 children had their photo taken with Santa Claus and more than 500 hotdogs were given out to children and their parents by Re-Max.

Christmas food and beverage treats were also provided by Sobeys, No Frills and Tim Hortons.

However, the numbers at the children’s activities were not the only ones the Town of Morinville is pleased with.

An estimated 3,000 people participated in the day’s events.

Morinville’s special Events Coordinator thinks the number speaks well for the community. “It’s a great investment in this community because people keep coming out to participate in the event,” she said. “And they’re quite willing to share their comments good and bad of what we can do to make it better for everybody for the next year. People that come out in Morinville are invested in Morinville’s community.”

But the festival organizer said she believes this year’s Christmas festival is a good kickoff for next year’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

Events are currently being planned for that celebration, including the opening of the Community Cultural Centre and an expanded St. Jean Baptiste Festival as well as other 100th anniversary initiatives.

Results from the Lion’s pancake breakfast and Morinville Public Library fundraiser were not available by press deadline.

Lite up the Nite Christmas Festival 2010 parade winners
The Town of Morinville judged three categories of floats this year – business, festive and youth. This year’s winners are as follows:


  1. Castle Building Centre
  2. Art of Conversation (publisher of Monday Morning News)
  3. Morinville Jets Hockey Club

  1. Morins Auto Service Inc.
  2. The Morinville Food Bank
  3. Deadmonton


  1. 1st Morinville Scouting
  2. Impact Youth Ministries
  3. Morinville Fire Department Youth Float

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