It was ‘touch and go’ whether the Slave Lake & District Chamber of Commerce would actually go ahead with its annual Moonlight Madness Santa Claus Parade. Chamber manager Kimberly Hughes tells us that was the state of uncertainty right up to the week it was supposed to happen.
But as we know, the parade went ahead, in modified form. And a good number of people turned out to watch, kids and all – even without the candy tossing enticement.
“We followed AHS regulations to the letter,” says Hughes, and the candy thing was one of them.
Oddly enough, people seemed to think that was okay. Hughes says some of the feedback she’s gotten suggests some parade-watchers thought the change was an improvement!
“They said the kids enjoyed the floats more because they weren’t distracted by candy.”
The parade had about 18 entries, which was 10 fewer than the 2019 number.
“I think it was important for us to do it,” Hughes says. “I think everybody was really happy.”
Besides giving people some fun, the underlying purpose of the parade is to bring people downtown and get the Christmas shopping season underway with a bang. Hughes says she hasn’t gotten much feedback from Chamber members yet, but from what she’s seen, there was a decent amount of shopping going on during the Moonlight Madness event – as well as all through the day.
“I think people spread out their shopping,” she says.
Getting back to the parade, the winners in the three categories were the Slave Lake Animal Rescue Committee (Best Overall), Northern Lakes College (Best Commercial) and Northern Lights 4-H (Best Non-Commercial).
The other Moonlight Madness contest was window decorating, which was won by RBC.
As for the Christmas Craft Sale/All Seasons Market that went on over two days (Nov. 20 and 21) at the MRC field house, it gets a passing grade as well.
“It was well attended,” says Megan McNeil, one of the organizers.
How well? She doesn’t have numbers (or didn’t when this was written), but people were lined up to get in.
“People were shopping,” she says.
As expected, the event had to be done in a modified form, due to health restrictions. It was limited to 60 vendors and 70 shoppers at a time, which explains the line-up. When the full complement of shoppers was inside, nobody got in until somebody came out.
Organizers hope to hold more all-seasons markets starting in the new year.