In a little over two weeks, Airdrie will be officially kicking off the holiday season with a myriad of festive events. Come Friday, December 1, Airdrie's long-standing Festival of Lights will begin - with old and new traditions glowing up the evening. 

The start of the Festival of Lights will begin with FortisAlberta's Light Up The Night celebration at 5:30 p.m. at Nose Creek Park.

Michelle Pirzek, the Coordinator for the Airdrie Festival of Lights recently said that the evening will be a true 'hallmark' event. She also revealed the rival of an old Airdrie tradition.

"If you were in Airdrie before 2003, our local fire department used to go visit everyone's house on Christmas Eve and hand out candy canes until there were too many houses and not enough hours in a day. So this year, we're inviting Airdrie fire [department] to come down and hand out candy canes at our events," she said. "

The night will also include performances by the Airdrie Community Choir at 7 p.m. FortisAlberta will also be serving free Hot dogs to guests, while supplies last. 

Pirzek underlined that the Festival of Lights Society is a non-profit organization staffed by volunteers, and the Festival of Lights display is admission-free.

"We don't charge admission or parking fees. We ask that if people can donate to the festival - cash donations, that that's how we can keep the lights going on for all regardless of income."

The Festival of Lights will run from December 1 until New Year's Eve. Each night the lights display is open from 6 p.m. till 9 p.m. 

However, Airdrie's Festival of Light's opening night isn't the only light-up ceremony scheduled to take place. Between Friday and Sunday, December 3, The City of Airdrie has announced that there will be several locations across the city 'flipping the switch' on holiday light displays. Details of the various locations and times have yet to be announced.

On Saturday, December 2, The Santa Claus Parade hosted by Airdrie Parades starts at 5 p.m. on Main Street. Though an official parade route has yet to be announced, The City has added that it will take place on Main Street. The Santa Claus Parade is a family-friendly event. 

"Road closures will start at Veteran’s Boulevard. and end at Ridgegate Way from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Alberta Health Services (AHS) Urgent Care Centre at 604 Main St. SE will remain open during this time. Road closure barricades will be manned by Emergency Responders to escort individuals to Airdrie’s Urgent Care Centre."

On Sunday, December 3, the 5th annual charity hockey game between Airdrie's firefighters and local RCMP will take place at the Ron Ebbesen Arena. Puck drop is at 2:00 p.m. running until 4:15. Entry is by donation to the Airdrie 1st Club Christmas Hamper program. Those who cannot attend the game can still donate. Donation boxes (red - naturally) are now set up in three fire halls across the city, with another blue donation box at the Airdrie RCMP detachment. 

Following a packed first weekend in December, on, Saturday, December 8, The Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC - formerly known as Canadian Pacific) holiday train is coming to Airdrie and the surrounding areas this holiday season.

According to the 2023 schedule, the holiday train will stop in Airdrie on Friday, December 8. The arrival time is 5:15 p.m., while the event will start at 5:45 p.m. and will run till 6 p.m. It will stop at Nose Creek Park (1641 Main Street) and this year's performers are the Canadian Band, Anyway Gang.

Last year, the holiday train re-started the much beloved North American tour after several years of being on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Since the Holiday Train program launched in 1999, it's raised $22.4 million and collected 5.15 million pounds of food. Other stops in Alberta include Olds, Didsbury, Calgary, as well as Okotoks.

On Saturday, December 9 an old-fashioned skating party will be hosted by Nose Creek Valley Museum.

"The Victorian Society of Alberta will be joining with Christmas Carols of days gone by. Bring the family from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., along with your skates, or visit the Skate Shack onsite for free rentals," The Airdrie Festival of Lights Society stated on the website. 

The following week, on Friday, December 15, The Festival of Lights will be hosting Emergency Services Night.

The events will also be accompanied by various holiday markets in Airdrie and the surrounding areas.

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