Santa arrived atop the rescue truck at Veterans Square on Saturday. He was greeted by many children who were all very excited to tell him they had been very good this year. With the help of the Princeton Ambassadors

Princeton Christmas season has begun

Many people took part and made the light up celebration a huge success.

This past weekend kicked off the festive atmosphere to the Christmas season in Princeton.

On Friday, the Crimson Tine players opened with a play entitled ‘A Christmas Story.’  Performances will take place this upcoming Friday and Saturday if you missed it this past weekend.

The downtown core grew busy with the annual Light Up and Santa’s Visit festivities which began at 4 p.m., on Saturday.

Mayor Armitage opened the celebration with a welcome and thank you to the Chamber of Commerce and the Christmas Light Up committee for their work to bring the event to the community.

Lori Thomas, Chamber manager and emcee for the light up introduced the Sparks, Brownies, Princeton Highland Dancers and the Laurie Thomas’ Baptist Church Youth Choir who all sang and danced their way into the hearts of all those present.

The special and most awaited guest of the evening was escorted to the gazebo in Veterans Square by a candlelight walk (organized by Stephanie Mintzler) with New Beginnings members and friends lead by the RCMP. Santa’s chariot this year was the Princeton Extrication Society truck (Highway Rescue) driven by elves, Doug Pateman and Glen Oliver.

Children were able to visit Santa with his own beard and a twinkle in his eye, thanks to Dan Twizell. Ambassadors Megan Pateman and Taylor Gibb assisted Santa in presenting each child with a goodie bag courtesy of  Princeton Senior Citizens. Crystal McEwan took photos for those that wanted a keepsake of the visit with Santa.

Hot chocolate and popcorn was provided in the square by Valley First and the Princeton Lions Club. At Realty Executives in the Plaza Mall Chamber president, Brenda Crawford served hot chocolate and candy canes.  Roasted marshmallows courtesy of the Similkameen Spotlight were served outside of the Source by Wendy Bentley and Debbie Lyon. Christmas music throughout the evening in the stores and along the streets was provided by by the Trubador, Mr. Allan Kovaltsenko.

Resident were treated to wagon rides again this year thanks to the donation of the tractor, wagon and generator by Scotty and George at West Coast Equipment. Terry Inglis drove the tractor and elf helper Liz Knibbecke had the passengers singing and laughing throughout their trip.

All these people as well as many others helped to make the Christmas Light-Up a success. The Princeton and District Chamber of Commerce is grateful for the support and participation.

The Chamber would also like to express their gratitude to the following; sound man Lyle Thomas, Justice Bishop for manning the barricades, the Princeton Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library for the use of their chair and to Danny Kastor for supplying the hay for the wagon.

Special thanks to Morphy Resaw for supplying the wood and to Aaron Koller and Tanis Cook for hauling it in to keep us all warm. Thanks to the Town Crew for a wonderful job of decorating Veterans Square, putting up the barricades, and helping with all the extras.

Thank you everyone for bringing your dogs for the Weiner Dog Races, Irene Manion and Shelly Giles for judging, Doug Pateman for emceeing and to Kathy Wasylenchuk for organizing the Races.

A very special thanks goes to Jenny and Doug Pateman for running all over town collecting prizes and delivering passports, posters and letters to almost every store in Town.  Thanks also to Tanis Cook; Megan Ratcliffe and Sharon Geluch for taking the information to the stores and for helping collect our prizes.

Many thanks to everyone who helped with setup and cleanup;  Lori Thomas, Jenny & Doug Patemen, Tammy & Clarence Cooper, Ross Edwards, Ambassador Megan Pateman, Vice Ambassador Taylor Gibb, Glen Oliver, Lisa Carleton, Lynn Johnson, Brenda Crawford, Robin & Ayla Irwin, Liz Knibbecke, Laurie Obey, Jack Thomas, Terry Inglis, and Jared Thomas.

Special thank you’s as well to the Christmas Tree competitors:  Princeton Brewing, Princeton Crisis Assistance, Princeton Fish and Game Club, Princeton Secondary School Leadership Class, Princeton Sparks, Princeton Youth Ambassadors, and Young Life.  You all helped make the evening special with your beautiful trees that helped light up the square.

Congratulations to the winners:  first place to the  Princeton Sparks; second to the  Princeton Fish and Game Club and third place, the Princeton Ambassadors.

The Princeton and District Chamber of Commerce extends their gratitude and apologizes to anyone they may have missed.  “Hope to see everyone next year.  Merry Christmas and remember to support our Town by Shopping Local.”