ST. PAUL - The St. Paul & District Chamber of Commerce is encouraging local businesses and residents to get in the holidays spirit by spearheading a number of festive activities that are new to the community.
"This year, the St, Paul & District Chamber of Commerce wants to get shoppers into our businesses," says executive director Diane Ellis. The holiday events are part of the chamber's Celebrate Hometown Business Shop Local Program.
An online gift auction featuring local products featuring businesses from all over town town is already live on the Chamber's website. For more information and a list of items in the online auction, visit stpaulchamber.ca
And while the auction supports the Chamber of Commerce, an added twist will see 50 per cent of the proceeds given back to businesses, says Ellis.
In a bid to get everyone into the festive spirit, the Chamber is also hosting a decorating contest and asking businesses to create a "festive and beautiful business district." Participating businesses can win prize money that will go toward their 2022 Chamber of Commerce membership.
Businesses can email a photo of their indoor or outdoor storefront decorations to email@example.com by Dec. 1. Categories for the contest include: best inside holiday display, best storefront/outdoor holiday display, best use of this year's theme "Windows into our Hometown," and people's choice.
Voting for the contest will run from Dec. 1 to Dec. 15.
"We have beautiful entries already and hopefully will have more," says Ellis.
A light up display will take place on Dec. 2 at the Lions Park on main street, and the following day, the light will be symbolically brought from the downtown park to the UFO landing pad through a parade, and a light up event will take place there. The Dec. 2 event will feature entertainment and treats from 6 to 10 p.m.
The first ever Hometown Holidays Moonlight Parade is scheduled for Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.
The parade will assemble at the vacant lot behind Lion's Park, and will make its way down main street to a tree lighting event at the landing pad. The parade route is just one kilometre long and a prize for the best themed float will be handed out.
"People love parades, so I am hoping we get good participation both for floats and viewers," says Ellis. The parade will go ahead, regardless of the weather, she adds.
Of course, Santa Claus will be included in the parade and will have a special mode of transportation.
The St. Paul Ag Society is offering their expertise and will be helping organize the parade. Participants are required to register prior to the parade, and must read the parade manual.
"The Chamber of Commerce really hopes these will become annual events," says Ellis.
Registration for the parade can be done through the Chamber by calling Ellis at 780-645-5820.
The tree light up at the landing pad is scheduled to take place from 7 to 8 p.m. and will once again be done as a drive-thru event, with Timbits, hot chocolate, and Santa included in the event.
The tree lighting on Dec. 3 is being organized by the Town of St. Paul and the FCSS department.
*This story was updated on Dec. 2