Downtown Kelowna light-up set to go

Santa lighting the city’s Christmas tree will cap off a days of festivities downtown

It may be a little early, but Santa Claus is coming to town Dec. 2.

The Jolly Old Elf will be in Kelowna to help with the 29th annual Kelowna Downtown Christmas Light-up.

The light-up itself, presented by FortisBC, will culminate a day-long party downtown with numerous events to kick-off the holiday season. The festivities are scheduled to start at 11 a.m. and run to 5:30 p.m., with the light-up itself at 5 p.m. in Stuart Park

Some of the highlights will include photos with Santa, ice-skating on the city’s popular outdoor free rink in Stuart Park, visits by the Ice Queen and Snow Princess, in addition to a bouncy castle, complimentary cookies and hot chocolate along with some adult treats from Okanagan Spirits, Tree Brewing Institute and BNA Tasting Room.

The Okanagan Regional Library will offer free Christmas crafts and Family Christmas Story Time, the Kelowna Art Gallery will run its annual paper lantern craft activity and the Towne Centre Mall will feature face painting, an elf scavenger hunt and a photo booth. The theatre in the Okanagan Centre for Innovation will be playing complimentary holiday movies. Most of the activities will be free.

New this year will be the inaugural Downtown Kelowna Winter street market presented by Delta Hotels by Marriott. The market will be located on Water Street, by Stuart Park and will include over 20 vendors selling curated goods that will make great gifts. In addition, there will be plenty of sweet treats, street food and cozy drinks.

Musical entertainment will begin at 1:15 p.m. at the Stuart Park stage with live performances. Caroling for a Cause will start off the entertainment, followed by the Dolyna Dancers and Stages Jazz Band, then Sista B & the Boyz. The evening will culminate with Santa Claus lighting up the city’s Christmas tree in Stuart Park at 5 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 2 will be the first Saturday in December when street parking downtown will be free, another tradition in the city.

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