(THE NEWS/files) Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus lit the Christmas tree.

Pitt Meadows celebrates community Christmas Friday

Annual event comes in out of the rain, starting an hour earlier this year

Christmas in Pitt Meadows is coming up on Friday, Dec. 7 and there will be a couple of important changes this year – an earlier start and a move indoors.

The Christmas gala will run from 5-8 p.m. this year, starting an hour earlier than last year.

It will also move inside the Pitt Meadows Family Recreation Centre, at 12027 Harris Rd., as the deluge of rain from last year has convinced organizers to take most of the activities into shelter, to ensure optimum enjoyment.

City hall considers this one of the signature events in the city, and it is a free family-oriented evening that sees the lighting of the city Christmas tree, entertainment, food and the arrival of Santa Claus.

Susann Sigmund, the senior arts and culture services coordinator said the will still be sleigh rides outdoors, weather permitting, with a horse-drawn sleigh, courtesy of Veinotte Horse Farm.

There will also be the traditional ice sculpture. Artist Bruce Waugh starts with a pile of snow brought to Spirit Square from the Pitt Meadows Arena, and it is a surprise every year – only Waugh knows what will be created.

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Indoors, people can take their own photos taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Kids can enjoy Storytime with Elsa and Bateman.

For the sporty, there is a snowboard simulator and a Top Shot hockey scoreboard.

Kids can decorate their own gingerbread cookies, and make Christmas crafts with the Pitt Meadows Museum and the Scouts and Guides.

The Lions Club will be selling hot dogs and hot chocolate by donation, there will be Grinch popcorn from Cravings Kettle Corn in Maple Ridge for sale.

There will be numerous bands on stage, including many local acts. The Fat Santa Band, Alouette Quintet, VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir, Collage, the Silver Chord Choir and the seniors ukulele group.

The newly elected council will be in attendance and will light the Christmas tree with Miss Pitt Meadows, Amelia Caldwell.

The event will be emceed by television news personality Kaitlyn Herbst, who grew up in Pitt Meadows.

Admission to the event is free, and there will have a big box at the front entrance for non-perishable food donations for the Friends in Need Food Bank.

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