Southern Alberta Newspapers
Christmas is coming early to Magrath this year, with the town’s annual Hometown Christmas event.
On Thursday, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., Santa Claus is coming to town and he’s bringing festive cheer with him, as the Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual event that brings the community together and offers a night of fun and inclusion for all ages.
“It’s all about community and that’s what makes the event so great,” says Chamber of Commerce member Jay Mackenzie. “We all get so busy during the Christmas season from shopping to watching kids’ performances and this is a great way to bring everyone together for a night before Christmas.”
Every year, on the Thursday following American Thanksgiving, Magrath businesses stay open into the evening for late-night shopping and craft tables galore so members of the community can come out and cross items off their wish list all while giving back to the local economy.
“The event helps promote shopping local and supporting local businesses,” says Mackenzie. “It helps promote crafters and locally made wares as well.”
However, it’s not just local shopping that the event offers to the town but also a slew of holiday-themed activities. From free skating, craft tables, hay rides and nativity scenes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
The fire department is also in attendance on the night to serve hot beverages and host a bonfire, while Roosters holds its annual crowd favourite gingerbread house contest and fundraiser.
“This year at the event, the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints is doing a nativity scene that will be set up in the white church and the public can tour those,” says Mackenzie.
“The hay rides that night will go from the downtown core, all the way to the skating rink and white church and then back around, so people can see all those stations.”
Although the Hometown Christmas event has been a staple for Magrath for more than a decade, it was eight years ago that the Chamber of Commerce took over the planning process and decided to become a major part of getting organizations together to volunteer their time and resources.
With hundreds coming out that night, the town rejoices in the November treat to connect with each other, get into the festive spirit and enjoy an evening of fun before the busiest month of the year sets in.
“The event is always well attended. Hundreds come out just to see Santa Claus alone, and organizations from across the town volunteer to open up and offer gifts and do something special or different each year,” says Mackenzie.
The Magrath Hometown Christmas is free for all, with residents, travellers and visitors welcome to attend.