Celebrating 10 years of holiday cheer, the Uptown Rutland Light-up is set to be bigger than ever this Christmas season.
Taking place Dec. 8, the event will start in Plaza 33 at 1 p.m. where families can partake in festive activities before the light-up of a community Christmas tree occurs at Roxby Square at 5 p.m.
Laurel D’andrea, executive director of the Uptown Rutland Business Association, said there’s tons of fun stuff going on to kick off the event this year.
“Every year, we try and add more to the event for the Rutland community,” said D’andrea.
“This year at Plaza 33, we will have cookie decorating, crafts, and an opportunity for kids to write letters to Santa. A recent addition this year is Santa reading to kids at the plaza library. Kids love sitting around listening to Santa read.”
As part of the light-up celebrations at Roxby Square, attendees will enjoy hot chocolate, scrimmage with the Kelowna Chiefs and the melody of Christmas carols sung by students of Rutland Secondary School.
Salvation Army community ministries outreach coordinator Sonia Withers said there will be a new addition to the light-up festivities this year.
“This year, we will have an emergency disaster services truck at the event. It’s a brand new unit that was anonymously donated,” said Withers.
“It’ll be a mobile kitchen for participants that’s typically used for floods or disasters.”
One proud Kelowna resident helping to provide food from the truck is Nick Aubin, who will be the official supplier of chili at the event.
While D’andrea admits the community tree light up has changed over the years, the annual festivities are still bigger than ever.
“Historically, the city would put ads out on their website saying they’d like a Rutland community member to donate the tree. The city park’s department would then check tree’s size, remove it from their residence and bring it over to the square to be lit up,” said D’andrea.
“Since we typically had to shut down the highway for the trees — including the last tree which was thirty feet —we moved to an artificial tree a couples years ago.”
All are welcome to attend the light-up ceremonies this year.
For more information on this year’s light-up, you can visit the event website.