The fun and excitement of Christmas coming to Cochrane will be on full display this Saturday (November 18) during Cochrane Light Up and the two main organizers of the event can't wait to get started.
Marni Fedeyko and Stephenie Shelstad are anticipating the largest crowd in the 33 years of Light Up. 15,000 people are expected to enjoy one of the only free events held in the community.
The fun happens on Historic Main Street between 4:30 and 7:30 pm and, according to Fedeyko, one of the highlights happens early. "We'll light the 35 foot Christmas tree on top of Rexall Pharmacy around 4:30." After that, three hours will go by in a blur for people attending.
Light Up features live woodworking and ice carving, 19 fire pots serving up 12,000 hot dogs that have just as many bags of Old Dutch chips to go along with them, a tent full of children's activities, stilt walkers, a photo booth at Stellar Hair and the Stoney Mini Thne Dancers."
That all leads to the highlight of the night, the fireworks display that begins around 7:20 pm. "For the second year in a row, Global Pet Foods are sponsoring the fireworks," says Fedeyko. "This is huge because Fiona from Global Pet Foods is a small business owner who digs deep to support us."
Fedeyko says along with the feast of hot dogs and chips, you'll be able to wash it all down with 12,000 cups of hot chocolate supplied by Tim Hortons. Two Tim Hortons trucks will also serve coffee.
The business community is also fully involved in the fun of Light Up. Fedeyko explains, "Kitchen Boutique and Mackay's Ice Cream host a gingerbread house contest. Most businesses will have in-store specials and many serve cookies or hot chocolate. A lot of businesses go out of their way to include extra toppings for hot dogs. It's a friendly competition. We have two trophies up for grabs. Best Dressed Dog and Most Spirited Fire Pot. The spirit of Light Up is carried through by many business owners."
While Fedeyko and Shelstad do most of the planning for Light Up, they also have a group of volunteers they couldn't do without. Fedeyko says there is one part of Light Up that they could use some more help with.
"We would love help with tear down. It's such a long day and it's only made longer when the two of us have to work for hours after the event to clean up. If a couple of guys are willing to load stuff, that would be fantastic!" Anyone willing to volunteer can contact the organizers through their Facebook page here.
Fedeyko also believes that Light Up wouldn't be possible without the support of the Town of Cochrane, particularly those that work in roads and operations. Many other people volunteer their services to help with the evening, including MJ Stead who does face painting and Rob Cameron who donates security.
If you've never been to Light Up, Fedeyko feels you're missing a wonderful community event. "Main Street has an infectious, warm holiday spirit. We are incredibly lucky to have so many businesses, big and small, rally around us. It's why Steph and I volunteer our time to host it. The community always steps up to support Light Up."