The streets of Sylvan Lake were glowing red and green as Christmas took over the town on Saturday.
A number of holiday activities were going on around town, including a Santa Claus parade, horse-drawn carriage rides and day two of the Spirit of Sylvan Yuletide Festival.
“It’s been such an awesome weekend here in Sylvan Lake,” said Mayor Sean McIntyre. “It all comes together to kick off Christmas in such a wonderful way and it’s awesome to be a part of.”
The Yuletide Festival has been held in Sylvan Lake for six years.
About 5,500 people came out to this year’s festival, which was held in the NexSource Centre for the first time. The previous record number for attendance was around 4,000.
Graham Parsons, town councillor and chair of Yuletide Festival committee, said it was a great weekend.
“We’re very, very happy with the turnout,” said Parsons. “The market was great, the vendors were great and I think everyone’s pretty happy.”
The NexSource Centre was a great venue for the festival as it has lots of room, Parsons added.
In the past, the festival was held the same weekend as Red Deer’s Festival of Trees. Moving it to the following weekend helped bring in more people, said Parsons.
The other Christmas themed events around the town helped bring some eyes to the Yuletide Festival, Parsons added.
“People come to their activities and then come over to the festival,” he said. “It’s blended in with a big weekend here in town which definitely helps.”
“It’s beginning to meet the vision we had from the beginning – a true kickoff to the holiday season,” said Parsons.
After the festival wrapped up, hundreds came to see the Santa Claus parade ride through the downtown. Fireworks were shot from the pier and the Waterfront Winter Village was lit up following the parade.