New bells were created from the original mold last year.

New bells were created from the original mold last year.

Shopping close to home

Maple Ridge’s downtown shops are now offering a chance at $2,000 in prizes.

Check out the local scene as you go through your Christmas shopping list and you could win some serious cash and save yourself gasoline and parking woes in the process.

Maple Ridge’s downtown shops are now offering a chance at $2,000 in prizes.

It’s called the Win Your Wish and all you do is buy an item, of any value, put your name, phone number and the package you wish to win on the back of your receipt – then drop that receipt into any of the ballot boxes around downtown Maple Ridge.

You can also enter online at WinYourWish.ca, provided you keep your receipt.

To increase your chances of winning, enter as often as you want.

Last year, during its first year, the contest drew 6,000 entries.

Depending on what you wrote on your receipt, you’ll win one of four prize packages:

• a $2,000 gift certificate from Marlin Travel;

• a $1,500 Home Toys package from Haney Sewing and Sound, good for TVs, audio and more, with an iPad Mini from Westminster Savings included;

• a Home Sweet Home package that includes a $1,500 gift certificate from Fuller Watson, plus an iPad Mini from Westminster Savings;

• or you can just opt for a $2,000 downtown shopping spree, consisting of $1,500 you in any of the 700 Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association area businesses, plus an iPad Mini from Westminster Savings.

To get into the Christmas spirit, downtown businesses are also participating in a shop window-decorating contest to see who can come up with the best of the season.  That goes until Dec. 15, when judging takes place.

Also underway is the Shop The Neighbourhood event, for which downtown stores will offer special one-day deals.

As Christmas approaches, the big Christmas tree in Memorial Peace Park will have its lights turned on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m., all part of the Christmas in the Park and the Santa Claus Parade that takes place that night. That event starts at 4 p.m. and continues to 8 p.m. Santa also starts his parade at 6 p.m.  For details, visit www.mapleridgechristmasfestival.com.

Last year, the City of Maple Ridge put up new LED icicle lights in the park that caught people’s attention. Those new lights were combined with new Christmas bells hung along 224th Street. The bells were made from the original 1950s molds, from which the original bells were made 50 years ago, creating an old-fashioned ambience.

“Essentially, it’s like we’ve gone back to 1966. This is exactly how they looked in 1966,” Maple Ridge’s spokesman Fred Armstrong said last year.

“It’s a Bing Crosby Christmas in Maple Ridge.”