Community Stories

Red Deer students Light the Night

November 19, 2019

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Red Deer, thanks to a pair of local students who won the chance to flip the switch – and Light the Night!

Maryview School students Chase Palmer and Izuagbe Idode joined Mayor Tara Veer on stage Saturday evening to officially usher in the holiday season at the annual Red Deer Lights the Night festival presented by Stantec.

“My job was to flip on the switch,” says Chase, in grade two. “It was very cool because the whole park lit up. Seeing all the lights turned on was exciting and it made me very happy.”

It’s no small task preparing City Hall Park for the annual holiday tradition. Parks crews with The City of Red Deer have been hard at work for weeks, installing over 200,000 light bulbs on 2000 strings of lights along with dozens of decorations including 23 artificial trees, five snowmen, five reindeer, two gingerbread houses, and Santa in his sleigh!

A section of Ross street was closed for the celebration and Red Deer students were tasked with designing the festive paper bag covers to be placed over the parking meters.

“I had to decorate a Christmas bag that was going downtown and then my name was put into a draw,” says Chase. “I was just lucky enough to win I guess!”

Close to 10,000 people filled City Hall Park for live music, food and games. But the highlight of the night for many, was the lighting of the giant Christmas tree at the corner of Ross Street and 48 avenue. Complete with more than 39 thousand glistening lights, the massive spruce towers over four stories high.

“My favourite part was the huge tree lighting up. It was the biggest tree downtown,” says Chase.

If you missed Red Deer Lights the Night, there’s still plenty of time to take in the Christmas magic of City Hall Park. The lights are on every day from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. until mid January.