The annual Santa Claus parade in Ashcroft — a highlight of the holiday for more than two decades — will not be taking place this year, but a new tradition is taking its place: a Christmas Lights event in Ashcroft and Cache Creek, which will allow people to take a self-guided tour of displays in both communities.
“The theme is classic Christmas movies, but you don’t have to decorate to the theme,” says Jessica Clement of the Ashcroft HUB, which is coordinating the event. “You could do a big Charlie Brown inflatable, or have a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Use a movie as your inspiration.”
She adds that participating residences and businesses do not have to go overboard and create a display worthy of Clark Griswold that can be seen from space. “You just need some lights, and maybe an inflatable or two. If you have lights on your house and are willing to have people drive by, let us know so we can add you to the list and have a map created so people can drive around.”
The map will be available digitally on the Ashcroft HUB website at https://ashcrofthub.ca/. There will also be paper copies available at the HUB office so that people can take their own tours starting Dec. 1.
Prizes will be awarded for the best residences and best businesses in both communities. “Let us know which houses and businesses you like the best,” says Clement. There will be a form to fill out, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the HUB at (250) 453-9177 with the addresses.
Clement says that the HUB made the decision not to go ahead with the Santa Parade after executive director Vicky Trill went over the COVID-19 restrictions. “She found that we just couldn’t do it. Whoever is putting on the event is responsible for enforcing COVID-19 regulations, so we would have to be responsible for making sure there were only 50 people in each section [along the parade route] and making sure people stood six feet apart. It just wasn’t feasible.”
However, they wanted to provide people with some holiday joy this season, and came up with the idea of the Christmas Lights tour.
“We’ve had people sign up already. People can make some hot chocolate, bundle the family up in the car, put on some Christmas music, and drive around for a nice tradition. The HUB Online Network will be going around and recording it so it will be available to view. You can sit at home, put on your Christmas music, sit with your hot chocolate, and enjoy it.”
Ashcroft resident Tyrone Laskey has started a Facebook page called Christmas Lights and Decorations of 2020. Anyone in Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton, and beyond is welcome to post pictures of their Christmas decorations — indoors and out — for all to see and enjoy this holiday season. Pay a visit, enjoy the sights, and perhaps get some inspiration for your own Christmas decorating.