By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Taber’s 2023 Winter Festival will take place on November 17.
“Winter Festival is a free fun family event which hopes to promote local shopping as well as a spirit of community,” Bruce Warkentin, chair of the Winter Festival Committee, said.
Warkentin says that most of the event will happen on 47 Avenue and will include hayrides, visits with Santa, a tree lighting, a free movie with refreshments, free swimming at the Taber AquaFun Centre sponsored by Taber IGA, and free skating at the small rink sponsored by Taber Kinsmen. Warkentin says that in conjunction with the festival, the Taber Public Library has hosted their Jingle Sale in the Taber Community Centre Auditorium on Nov. 17 along with their regular Saturday date. Warkentin says that some of the events, such as the Jingle Sale, will accept donations for the Taber Food Bank and the movie event held at Parallel Church will accept donations for the MyCityCare program. On top of all that, Warkentin says, there will be festive Christmas music playing on 47 Avenue while shoppers take part in the events on that street.
The Taber and District Chamber of Commerce, Warkentin says, is the main organizer with the Town of Taber and Taber Fire Department helping facilitate the actual event with the tree lighting, street closures, fire pits, etc. as well as assisting in the planning leading up to the event.
“Businesses can also choose to take part in our Passport to Christmas or sponsor for a low fee of $100 and offer special deals that evening for the shoppers,” Warkentin said. “Our Passport to Christmas event runs from November 13 to December 10. Businesses can also participate in the Best Decorated Business contest which runs from November 14-30. Online voting starts the day (after) the Winter Festival on November 18 to allow time to decorate after Remembrance Day. Businesses need to let the Chamber know they want to be included in the poll by calling 403-223-2265.”
The Passport to Christmas, Warkentin says, is a month-long promotion running from November 14 – December 11.
“Shoppers can pick up passports at the Chamber office or participating businesses,” Warkentin said. “When shopping at participating businesses they can get their passport stamped for every $10 spent. Once the passport is full, they can submit to enter to win $1000, $500 or $100 Chamber Bucks. The Passport to Christmas will be available around November 13 and will be available at the participating businesses, which will be on our website.”
Warkentin says that the Winter Festival actually started out as “Midnight Madness” with stores staying open until midnight and offering sales for shoppers, and then a few years ago when the amount of businesses available to participate was dwindling, it was transitioned it to a ‘festival’ with the added fun free components such as skating, swimming, free crafts, Santa visits, and hay rides.
“I think it’s a great way to get people feeling the spirit of the season locally,” Warkentin said. “And we, the committee, hope that people appreciate the free family fun events and the opportunity to shop local and save money while doing so. We would love everyone to come out and support our wonderful sponsors and participating businesses and shop local.”
For more information about the Taber Winter Festival, visit: https://www.taberchamber.ca/taber-winter-festival/.