Light Up event brings out the crowds

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Throngs of people gathered around Centennial Park Saturday for the annual Olds Fashioned Christmas Light Up event.

Volunteers were ready for the large crowds expected out on the balmy day with 3,000 hotdogs, coffee and hot chocolate, popcorn and orange drink.

Outdoor park activities included wagon rides, a hay maze, photo opportunities with cutout snowmen, and featured the turning on of Christmas lights and the showcasing of the Kiwanis Historical Village.

Streets in the vicinity were lined with parade watchers as more than 25 floats made their way along the route around 5 p.m. Festivities then moved inside the Cow Palace for live entertainment and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

“I love this event. It just keeps growing and growing,” said Lorraine Piller, Olds Fashioned Christmas committee chair.

The Nov. 25 event marked the 24th year the light-up celebration has been held.

It’s a large undertaking, said Piller, with planning beginning in April.

“It takes about 30 businesses and organizations and over 300 volunteers to put it on,” she said.

Everything from porta-potties, hay and generators to food and refreshments are donated, including time put in by organizers and all the town’s service groups.

By far, the largest draw for the inside activities is visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, she said.

And an added attraction this year, fireworks were set off in Centennial Park to conclude the evening.

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Lea Smaldon

Lea Smaldon joined Mountain View Publishing as managing editor in 2006.