Downtown is the heart of our city and this year in support of the many great small businesses that call downtown home, it is also the heart of the holidays. Starting November 15, visitors will enjoy five weeks of events and activities including outdoor skating and business promotions highlighting the originality of downtown Lethbridge.
Heart of the Holidays will replace the one-day Bright Lights Festival which has been a downtown holiday tradition for the last 18 years. By spreading events out over a longer period of time and providing more variety, this new holiday tradition hopes to attract more people to the downtown core.
"The Bright Lights Festival has been great but it was just one night and it was very dependent on weather, says Ted Stilson, Executive Director of the Downtown Business Revitalization Zone. "Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens now has an amazing lights display for residents to enjoy so it was time to look at something different for the downtown. By switching things up and introducing a new event, we hope everyone will find something that will bring them downtown this holiday season."
Skating in festival square will be one of the main attractions as part of the Heart of the Holidays event. Festival square (the small parking area on 6 St. S.) will be transformed into a skating rink for the week of November 15 - 24 and December 7 - 14. The Downtown BRZ, The Heart of our City Committee and Lethbridge Sports Council have partnered to bring the outdoor skating rink to the downtown. There will be synthetic ice installed and maintained for the public to skate on free of charge. There will also be additional lighting and seating provided as well as treats for skaters to enjoy.
"Over the years, something we've continually heard through community engagement is that residents would enjoy a place to go outdoor skating," says Andrew Malcolm, City of Lethbridge Urban Revitalization Manager. "Our Lethbridge chinooks have always been a concern in maintaining ice but by having a synthetic ice surface, which we've borrowed from Lethbridge Sport Council, we now have a solution. We are really excited to offer this new opportunity for friends and family to meet downtown and enjoy skating together this holiday season."
Over the next several weeks, Heart of the Holidays will also introduce:
- Selfies with Santa – find Santa downtown and take a selfie for a chance to win great prizes.
- Downtown Holiday Market – November 23 at Casa. Shop local at this special market showcasing downtown Lethbridge businesses.
- Plaid Days - Dec 6 & 7
Shop local this holiday season and enjoy great deals from unique businesses. Catch a ride on a horse-drawn carriage while sipping hot chocolate then hop off for a skate at festival square.
For more information on all of the exciting events happening for the year's Heart of the Holidays in downtown Lethbridge visit: www.downtownlethbridge.com
Downtown Business Revitalization Zone
City of Lethbridge
Andrew Malcolm, Urban Revitalization Manager