Santa Claus at the 2019 Keremeos Light Up Parade. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)

Santa Claus at the 2019 Keremeos Light Up Parade. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)

Light Up parade returns to Keremeos this December

Following the parade will by events at the rec centre including frozen turkey curling

There will be a Light Up Parade in Keremeos this year, and only one key thing is missing: a Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

The parade was forced to be cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this year there will be several changes, including an event after the parade.

“It will be bigger and better,” said Mac Watson, the president of the Similkameen Country Chamber of Commerce. “We’re taking all the precautions we possibly can to make things safe for everybody and we just hope people show up and realize we’re doing the best we can.”

The parade is scheduled to return on Dec. 4, starting at 5:30 p.m.

This year, the parade will be taking place on Veteran’s Avenue instead of along the highway, which allows for a safer experience.

“We are trying to accommodate social distancing, and Veteran’s Avenue is wide enough for this to happen,” said Watson. “On the highway the sidewalks are so narrow you can’t do any social distancing properly.”

The theme for the parade this year is all about friends and family, and already the chamber has been reaching out to previous participants

“If you want to have a poker table on the middle of a trailer for you and your friends, that works,” said Watson. “We’ve been locked down and kicked around for 19 months, and that’s why the theme is family and friends.”

Once the parade is finished, everyone is invited up to the Similkameen Rec Centre, where there will be a raffle and other fundraisers for the lunch programs for Cawston and Keremeos.

One of those fundraisers is unique to Keremeos’ Light Up festival – Frozen turkey curling.

“You pay $2 and you fire a frozen turkey down the ice and the winner who draws closest wins a 14-15-pound turkey,” said Watson. “Not the one you throw of course.”

All of the proceeds from the turkey curling and the raffle draws go to the lunch programs, with the prizes and the turkeys all donated.

Hot chocolate and popcorn is set to be donated by the Keremeos Elks and Royal Purple for the night.

The key role that currently needs filling is the position of Mr. Claus, after the previous couple moved out of town. Anyone interested in the position can contact Watson at 250-499-9843.

Anyone interested in participating in the parade can contact Colleen Christensen at the Information Centre at 250-499-5225.

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