Red Deer Lights the Night's public gathering has been cancelled because of the pandemic. Santa will visit neighbourhoods in a bus and residents are encouraged to hit the switch on their Christmas lights at 5 p.m. on Nov. 21.
Advocate file photo

Red Deer Lights the Night has a new twist because of the pandemic

City Hall Park ceremony cancelled but Santa will tour neighbourhoods in a bus

A modified version of Red Deer Lights the Night will take place this Christmas season.

The traditional lighting ceremony in City Hall Park will not take place because of the pandemic.

However, Red Deerians are invited to help light the night by turning on their home and business Christmas lights in unison at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21.

A video showcasing the lights and decorations in City Hall Park will be shared on the city’s social media channels so Red Deerians can enjoy the view from the comfort of their homes.

“Red Deer Lights the Night is one of our city’s favourite annual events. Though the pandemic has required us to modify the details, we wanted to find ways for the community celebration to carry on,” said community development superintendent Bobby-Jo Stannard.

Other ways to celebrate the kick-off to the holiday season in 2020 include artisan markets hosted by the Downtown Business Association and Red Deer Arts Council, local shopping and dining opportunities, downtown lights and window art, and Ross Street Patio programming.

More information will be posted to the city’s website at www.reddeer.ca or on social media.

Santa will also make an appearance. Since youngsters cannot visit him in person at City Hall Park this year, St. Nick will be touring local neighbourhoods by bus. On Dec. 5 and 12, children are invited to watch from the window to see Santa wave as the bus drives by.

A complete schedule for the Santa bus will be posted soon.

As a special feature, local hockey fans have a chance to score some prizes from Hockey Canada, including Team Canada merchandise and game tickets for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Ice Hockey Championship.

To enter the contest, Red Deer residents can submit photos of their Canadian hockey-themed decorations online. More details on the contest will be announced in coming days.

“We know many Red Deerians are disappointed with the postponement of the world juniors tournament, and we’re thrilled to partner with Hockey Canada to keep the excitement going until we’re able to host the event,” said Stannard.

For more information, visit www.reddeer.ca/rdlights.