PENHOLD – The 10th annual Penhold Community Christmas is taking a different turn this year.
The annual one-day celebration at the Penhold Regional Multiplex that is typically held mostly indoors and near the end of November has been put aside this year due to the ongoing COVID-19.
Instead, said Town of Penhold Mayor Mike Yargeau, there will be a revised month-long celebration that begins Nov. 20 and continuing with weekly themes until Dec. 18. The planned activities will be held safely outdoors.
“The community Christmas is one of our biggest events and we needed to change how we do that this year obviously, because typically it is in the multiplex and we have a large number of people who show up, and they are all indoors for the most part,” said Yargeau, adding staff came up with many “great ideas” to ensure the community can come together and celebrate the holiday season.
“Not everything has been announced yet but I am really excited about it. Instead of the traditional community Christmas we will have an extended community Christmas with some different activities and events.”
However, he said a lot of events and activities will be driven by the community on how they want them to be presented.
“What we are doing this year is really cool,” said the mayor. “Every house in Penhold is going to feel a bit of warmth from the town and I am really excited about that. I think residents are really going to like it.”
And some traditions will still be played out. The town is promising the Town Crier will be lighting the Christmas tree for this year’s revised community Christmas. However, the tree will be moved to the balcony of the multiplex. As well, said staff in a news release on the town's website, citizens will not be shoulder to shoulder in the multiplex lobby for the tree lighting. They will be bumper to bumper in the multiplex parking lot.
The town will kick off this year’s revised Penhold Community Christmas at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20 with the Winter Warm Up, a drive-in Christmas tree light-up in the multiplex parking lot.
“No spoilers here but we might have a special guest from the North Pole helping us light the tree,” said Yargeau.
From there the town will move into Week 1 of its extended community Christmas celebration with Warm Hearts Week, which from Nov. 21 to Nov. 27 is sharing kindness throughout the community.
In Week 2, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 4, it will be community decorating week.
Week 3, from Dec. 5 to Dec. 11, will have the Tour of Lights Bingo, where people can register their Christmas decorated houses that will be put on a map for citizens to go around town and mark off which houses they have seen - similar to an old fashioned bingo card.
And in Week 4, from Dec. 12 to Dec. 18, the town will have a Community Goose Chase Scavenger Hunt.
As well, the town is asking Penholders to put themselves back on Santa’s nice list with the annual Toys 4 Christmas that will begin Nov. 16 and run until Dec. 11.
If citizens receive a ticket between Nov. 16 and Dec. 11, the Town of Penhold will accept new, unwrapped toys in lieu of the specified fine on the ticket.
Toys will be donated to the Red Deer Christmas Bureau, which serves Penhold residents. Donations must have a value of at least 80 per cent of the specified fine on the ticket and include the original receipt when submitted.
Toys for children between the ages one to 15 will be accepted, as well as gift cards for stores like Walmart /Toys R Us. The town will not be accepting any war toys.
All donations must be received by the town office by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 14. For more info contact the town at 403-886-4567.