Christmas Light-Up festivities in the works

As I write this, our first snowfall of the year is coming down, which makes me think of the upcoming festive season.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. As I write this, our first snowfall of the year is coming down, which makes me think of the upcoming festive season.

And that brings to mind the annual Downtown Light-Up, a great annual event than many local families shouldn’t miss! This year, Light-Up will be on Saturday, Dec. 3, with activities starting in the afternoon and culminating in the lighting of the big tree at The Sails at 6 p.m.

This year, there will be family activities in Stuart Park (ice skating and live music) from 1 to 5 p.m., as well as storytelling at the library, Christmas movies at the Paramount, a lantern-making workshop at the art gallery and other events at the Rotary Centre for the Arts and the Laurel building.

Santa himself will be making his appearance at the RCA from 3 to 5 p.m.

The Towne Centre Mall gets into the action starting from 11:00 a.m. Until 3:00 p.m., with a magician (Lief Davis), fiddlers, live piano music, and balloons and crafts for the children.

You can easily make this event a full day, with the fun starting at 11 a.m.  and ending at 6:30 to 7 p.m. It’s going to be a really fun-packed Light-Up, so don’t forget to mark it on your calendars!

You may have heard by now that the city has solidified its plans to do a revitalization of Bernard Avenue.

The work is planned to start in the fall of 2012, and continue into early 2013, with breaks for the summer season and probably part of the winter.

Downtown businesses are all very excited about the Bernard upgrade, which will leave us with one of the prettiest main streets in B.C.

A mainstay of downtown has had a little move: Amy Nevery, who owns Amy’s Gifts in the Towne Centre Mall, moved her shop a few months ago to a bigger, brighter spot in the mall.

Amy is a downtown dynamo; people come from all over just to chat with her because she’s such an amazing person.

Of course, her giftware draws people from far and wide too.

She carries a great selection of Bradford Exchange gifts, beautiful amber from Poland, Bohemian Crystals from Chzekoslovkia, heritage lace from Europe and the U.S. Then there’s her amazing jewelry selection, from Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York.

If you want something unique and hard to find, you’ll definitely want to drop in to Amy’s Gifts and have a look. By the way, Amy has been in business for 30 years, the last 10 of them in downtown Kelowna.

The Towne Centre Mall will be showing off its Christmas Street later this month. The mall will be decorated with hundreds of lights to give it  a beautiful warm glow.

Christmas Street will be officially opened on Saturday, Nov. 26, with a choir and live piano music from 1 p.m. Something to definitely put you in the Christmas mood!

The chilly weather always makes me want to go somewhere really cozy to have a nice dinner.

One place that really warms my spirit is Soul de Cuba restaurant on Sunset Drive. This authentic Cuban spot is a real find for a fun evening out.

They make the best Mojitos in town , and delicious home-made Cuban entrees like Ropa Vieja and Picadillo a la Habana.

Soul de Cuba is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday, and offers live music on Wednesday nights. When the weather’s nasty, an evening at Soul de Cuba is almost as good as a beach vacation.

Jan Johnson has co-owned Tigerlily Fashions downtown for 24 years. If you have any news about downtown shop openings and/or events, please email them to her at