Some cool, crisp weather would be in order for the evening of Saturday, Dec. 2. Add a bit of snow on the ground and the weather would be perfect for the annual Christmas in the Park and Santa Parade, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The annual event is the true kickoff for Christmas in downtown Maple Ridge. It all starts at 3 p.m. with hands-on arts and crafts, along with Christmas decorations and trees, all done up for the occasion. Cookies, popcorn and hot chocolate will be available while there will also be a mailbox to put your letter to Santa. And if you want to talk to the big guy, he’ll be there in the park, ready to listen to Christmas wishes.
There will be many great entertainers gracing the stage of the bandstand in Memorial Peace Park starting at 4 p.m.
This years line-up will include country vocalist Jenni Doyle who is currently touring with the Forever Country Tribute Show, up-and-coming singer/songwriter Ashley Pater, the Art of Music Showcase featuring a student Christmas choir and a performance by teachers Sandy Watkins and Mike McDonald.
Maple Ridge country singer/songwriter, Brett Williams, the grandson of Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Elmer Tippe and nephew to fellow inductee Rick Tippe, will take to the stage at 5:30 p.m. as the final act before the parade.
The whole evening is capped off by the Santa Parade starting at 6 p.m. on Brown Avenue at Garden Street, just west of 224th Street.
The procession will head west for a block to Plaza Street and turn south on Plaza on to Dewdney Trunk Road. It then heads to 224th Street and south and heads to Memorial Peace Park.
New this year is the fact that the parade will actually go through the loop that goes around Memorial Peace Park allowing more people to see the displays.
The Maple Ridge Christmas Festival Society organizes the event every year and could always use some volunteers.