Christmas Tree Festival kicks off season in Ladner Village

The wet weather didn’t put a damper on the Christmas spirit in Ladner Village last Thursday.

The Ladner Business Association helped kick off the holiday season with its annual Christmas Tree Festival.

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Hundreds of families came out to enjoy the spirit of the season with entertainment, crafts, writing letters to Santa, sipping on hot chocolate and watching Santa light up the Christmas tree.

“The event went really well,” said LBA president Jill McKnight. “The weather was pretty inclement earlier in the day, so I think that slowed down the crowds a bit, but as the weather improved, we certainly saw the crowds swell as we got closer to the tree lighting. We were tremendously happy with the turnout and just the number of families who are discovering the event, which is wonderful.”

McKnight said it’s important for the community to realize that so many businesses come together to support the event.

“There are something like 34 sponsors that help to put on this as well as the Breakfast with Santa,” she said. “That’s tremendous. That’s saying these businesses want to give back and want to be a part of creating wonderful memories for families in the community.”
One of the more popular activities Thursday night was the business gingerbread house contest.

McKnight said more than 600 votes were cast with the winner being HoneyDo Lifestyle Assistant.

“Each year we are seeing different businesses participate and finding a way to showcase their business,” she said. “We had some creative ideas. There were birdhouses, a bridge, a castle. I know one business told me they spent three weeks working on their design. Our hope is that this will continue to grow. The contest is open to adults and kids to vote on. Our colouring contest was also a huge success.

“It’s hard to gauge the attendance, but when I was on the stage I looked out and all I could see was smiling faces. When Santa arrived you could just feel the energy and the excitement, so that’s why we do this.”

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