The Silver City Nite celebration isn’t just about Christmas spirit and the man-in-red giving out treats. The town’s annual December event is also a celebration of community spirit and giving back to neighbours in need.
This year, Nite-goers are encouraged to keep an eye out for a very large red, white and blue balloon in Santa’s Candy Parade – at the base will be a Re/Max All Pro Realty truck with realtors walking the streets and gathering toys for local children in need.
“We are big supporters of the Children’s Miracle Network (Hospitals),” explains Re/Max All Pro realtor, Thea Hanson.
“Every time someone from Re/Max sells a house, whether they are representing a buyer or seller, we donate to the Children’s Miracle Network and that goes to BC Children’s Hospital,” she shared. “We’ve been involved in the background of a lot of these things over the years, so this year, we really wanted to take more of an involved approach to community engagement. And that’s how we came up with the idea, we need to do something for kids and donate to children in the area – this marries up with what we already do with the Children’s Miracle Network.”
Hanson encourages those attending the Santa Candy Parade on Saturday in downtown Trail (begins at 5 p.m.), to bring along a new and unwrapped toy for Re/Max to collect.
“We will probably be somewhere in the middle,” she said. “Anybody that wants to contribute to the toy drive, we just ask them to bring their toys with them to the parade, we are going to be walking and collecting along the parade route.”
If Santa-watchers are tied up with children and candy collection, new toys can be dropped off later at the Re/Max locale or during day time hours until Dec. 16.
“If anyone misses the parade or wants to leave the toy in their vehicle until after, we will be in the office until 7 p.m. giving out hot chocolate to anyone that stops by,” Hanson added. “We just really want to show our community spirit … and be more engaged, involved, and show our community support.”
All donated toys will be distributed to children in need in the Greater Trail area and the Beaver Valley.
Silver City Nite is the true meaning of a community event, says Andrea Jolly.
“So many groups and organizations came forward to coordinate an activity or contribute to the event is some way,” explained Jolly, Trail’s communication and events coordinator.
“The city was very pleased to hear that Re/Max wanted to integrate the Toy Drive into Santa’s Candy Parade. This is an excellent opportunity for the community to show their support for such a great cause.”
Also showing community spirit and giving back to local charities is the United Way Trail and District. The organization kicks off the holiday season with an indoor night market on Friday from 5-9 p.m. at 900 Spokane Street (former Liquidation World). Gifts, baking and homemade wares by local artisans will be featured in the United Way Christmas Market Fundraiser, which runs again on Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
And, because Christmas is really about the little ones, the community is invited to drop by the Trail and District Library from 1-4 p.m. for holiday crafting, and especially at 2 p.m., when youthful faces take centre stage.
Band leader Terry Moon says 75 kids will be part of a band performance featuring the After-School Band and students in the Crowe Music Program, even a few young musicians from Castlegar will play the event.
Afterwards, the community is invited to have their photo taken with Mrs. Claus from 2:45-4 p.m.
Other Saturday highlights include Caffe Americano’s Festival of Trees Charity Auction – bid on a decorated tree and all proceeds will be directed to the tree owner’s charity of choice.
There’s an all-day toonie swim at the Aquatic Centre plus free hot dogs at 11 a.m. courtesy Trail firefighters.
Jolly says the 20th anniversary of the facility was planned with the event, and everyone, not just swimmers are welcome to join a cake cutting ceremony at noon.
Finally, the Santa Candy Parade begins in the downtown core at 5 p.m.
With so many new inquiries about the procession this year, Jolly says there will be some colourful surprises.
“We can’t wait to see how creative everyone will be with their decorated trucks and cars,” she said, mentioning past favourites such as the Mystic Belly Dancers, the Salvation Army and the South Columbia Search and Rescue are returning guests.
And word has it, the big man will also be coming to town.
“Santa has confirmed his availability and will be arriving on the Trail Firefighters