By Ian Croft
Every year Taber Communities in Bloom helps decorate the town for the holiday season and this year will be no exception as they add a nativity scene in to the mix.
The nativity scene is currently set up at the north end of the Taber Administration Building and is planned to be up until late January.
Despite currently missing the Wise Men at time of writing, Jean Holman expects them to arrive before Dec. 25. Holman also spoke on how Communities in Bloom started decorating the town in the winter.
“A few years ago, Communities in Bloom decided we needed to add some colour to Confederation Park and the Cenotaph area in the winter also, not just in the summer. Our first project was to light up the trees. At that time we had no funding, but we had a lot of interest from the business community. Several trees were strung with lights, which were donated by Ar-Tech and Jensen’s Welding. Lee Reid donated his trucks to install the lights through his business, he even paid his employees to do the work when he was busy. Taber is a great place to volunteer, the businesses always step up to help with whatever we ask.”
The year after Communities in Bloom hung up Christmas lights in Confederation Park they requested $2,000 annual funding from town council to help with their endeavours to help decorate the town in the winter season. Also, in the year after they set up the lights in Confederation Park, Communities in Bloom received $1000 from the MD of Taber which they used to acquire the snowman family which decorates the park area in the MD.
“Every year we added new display pieces and many strings of lights. We always longed to have a nativity scene but were not sure how we could raise the thousands of dollars needed to purchase it, so it was a dream for the future,” Holman said.
With a strange twist of circumstances COVID-19 helped made this dream a reality for Holman and Communities in Bloom.
“Every April the Town hosts an appreciation dinner for their volunteer boards, and they invite Communities in Bloom members to attend,” Holman said. “Due to COVID they chose to give every volunteer on these boards, and our group, $100 per active member, to do with as we chose. That meant we had an extra $2,300 to add to our annual grant. We were still many thousands short. We approached Henk DeVlieger, who had constructed the two Merry Christmas lighted signs that enhance our displays and welcome everyone to Taber. Without hesitation, he said he could build the cheche, Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus, and the rest of the figurines and stay within our budget. That was exciting news. Randy Bergen helped him with the welding.”
Despite Communities in Bloom not having an organized light tour this year they will still be hosting their annual Light Up Contest. Their judges will be checking out the town until Dec. 13. You do not need to register or be nominated to have your lights/decorations entered into the contest, and the results will be announced in a later issue of the Taber Times.