It’s a hustling and bustling Vanderhoof this weekend with Christmas cheer, shopping, music, and art.
Thousands flocked to the community on Dec. 3 for the third annual Winter Wonderland Festival, Midnight Madness shopping, and Parade of Lights.
The day of festivities kicked off with the annual Christmas Craft Fair hosted by W. L. McLeod Elementary, featuring about 50 vendors from Fort St. James, Prince George, Fort Fraser, as well as Vanderhoof that sold a variety of handmade goods including folded cedar tables, baked goods, glasswork, and natural body care products. Proceeds go towards Grade 6 students’ year-end trip.
Fort Fraser’s Jenna McAulay showcased for the first time handcrafted jewellery and wind chimes made of reclaimed silverware, as well as driftwood from Vancouver Island. Previously living on the Island, she sourced most of her material from her mother-in-law’s garage sales. “It’s odds and ends, or heirloom silverware that people don’t use,” she said.
Christmas Art Walk also took place during the day, with 12 local artists exhibiting their work over four downtown locations.
At 7 p.m., almost 40 lighted floats from local businesses and service groups cruised through the streets of Vanderhoof for the annual Parade of Lights.
Participating local organizations included Saik’uz First Nation catering, Evelyn Dickson Elementary, and St. Joseph’s Church.
Shopping did not end with daylight, as downtown shops opened until midnight with special sales, along with home business vendors accompanied by local musicians in Sugar Plum Place at the back of Vanderhoof Co-op mall.
Some local groups took advantage of the opportunity to raise awareness or raise funds:
Neighbourlink’s Best Moms and Dads group offered baked goods, dreamcatchers, and crafts for sale to fundraise for a trip to Haida Gwaii. “Most families of the group haven’t travel before,” said Cora McIntosh.
Lucas Nielsen and two friends, offering Christmas light additions to a Christmas tree in the Co-op mall, raised $475 in two hours for the BC Children’s Hospital.
On Gingerbread Lane by 7-11, representation of the one-year-old Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Local Action Team offered free hot chocolate for parade watchers, and Monique Favel sold Indian tacos to raise funds for a Uganda mission trip.