Santa Claus was the centre of attention everywhere he went during the Candy Parade in downtown Trail on Friday night.

Santa Claus was the centre of attention everywhere he went during the Candy Parade in downtown Trail on Friday night.

Santa Claus lights up the night

Despite the cold, Santa made an appearance Friday night at Trail's annual Silver City Nites festival.

More Greater Trail people have landed on the nice list this year, according to Santa Claus who made a special appearance Saturday for Santa’s Candy Parade in downtown Trail.

The jolly man said he left his reindeer back at the North Pole to give them time to rest up for the upcoming big day.

“I decided I’d try to make as many of these parades that I could,” he said. “The next one I hope is in Florida, where it’s a little warmer.

“You guys must be Canadian.”

Frigid temperatures that felt far cooler than the actual -20 C didn’t keep about 500 people from coming out to the annual winter parade down Bay and Cedar avenues.

Community groups and businesses were led by parade marshal Ken Koshey. The long-time minor hockey coach was selected in recognition of his finish in Kraft’s “Hockey Goes On” promotion which netted the Greater Trail Minor Hockey Association (GTMHA) $20,000.

The parade kicked off the Silver City Nites event that included by-donation hotdogs and hot chocolate by United Steelworkers Local 480, by-donation cotton candy made by this year’s Trail Ambassador candidates and Christmas baking for sale from Creative Cupcakes.

St. Michael’s choir sang Christmas melodies while the GTMHA set some nets up for street hockey. The crowd was encouraged to later take in a Trail Smoke Eaters game, with free admission for children under 12 years old, or do some shopping at some local businesses that chose to stay open late.

Tammy Lomin, who owns Bay Avenue Music with her husband Ted, said Friday night was quiet when the store was kept open late to coincide with the downtown event.

“I think a lot of people avoid the downtown at night.” she said. “I just don’t see a lot of people.

“We’ve stayed open late before, nothing ever happens.”

Though Bay Avenue Music just celebrated its one-year anniversary with a successful midnight madness sale last month, Lomin said generally Trail is a Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. town.

But over on Cedar Avenue, Five Skate employee Jesse Briggeman said about 20 people perused the new store that night.

The shop, owned by Jason Ayles of Trail Martial Arts, just opened less than a month ago.

“It definitely brought people in,” said Briggeman. “Most of the people who came in just hadn’t even seen (the store) so there was just a lot of people coming in to check it out.”

The city has noticed an increased interest in its community events, which is apparent by the number of views on its Facebook page, according to Andrea Jolly, Trail communications and event coordinator.

Santa’s Candy Parade was just another example of a seasonal celebration that ultimately promotes the city’s downtown.

“The whole idea (was) very similar to what we did for Spooktacular,” said Jolly. “We really wanted to draw, invite the community into the downtown core and bring attention to our great city while celebrating an occasion.”

Trail Parks and Recreation has a few holiday events still to come with a Christmas Bash planned for Dec. 15 from 1-3 p.m. The swim event held at the Trail Aquatic and Leisure Centre includes crafts and activities and a visit from Santa. On Dec. 18, Trail Kiwanis is sponsoring a free skate with Santa from 5:45-7 p.m. at the arena in the Trail Memorial Centre. The family skate includes free hot chocolate and $1-slice pizza.

“It’s a really great opportunity for people who can’t usually afford to go skating or for the families who struggle with going out and getting pizza,” said Jolly. “It’s really nice to see that this is an event for everybody.”