Christmas at the Geopark

December 14, 2022

The Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark is getting ready to celebrate the holidays with the return of some popular festive activities.

Sleddin’ Santa (LINK), the 12 Days of Christmas, and the Christmas Lights Tour are all set to return this year. To kick off the holiday season, the Geopark is working on a fun way to get the community involved.

Festive Family Fun

“Families are invited to register their homes for the Christmas Light-Up Contest and be part of the Christmas Lights Tour. We’re also hosting an event with one of the local restaurants where people can stop by and pick up a map and a voting card along with some cookies, hot chocolate, and a hamburger before going on the Christmas Lights Tour,” explains Jenna McQueen, Program Coordinator for the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark.

She says they’ve partnered with a local bus company to provide transportation for anyone who wants to go on the Christmas Lights Tour. Along the way, they can vote for their favourite light displays and return their card at the end of the tour in exchange for a free family craft kit.

Residents are encouraged to decorate their homes for the holiday season.

On the 12th Day of Christmas

The beginning of December marks the return of the 12 Days of Christmas.

“It’s a Christmas countdown that leads into Sleddin’ Santa,” Jenna says. “Sleddin’ Santa is on December 16 this year, so the 12th day will end on December 15. This is a way to get the community involved and excited – we have some amazing prizes from companies and businesses from across town for our draws this year.”

During the 12 days leading up to Sleddin’ Santa, there are daily drawings on the Santa in the Geopark website (LINK) to help build excitement for Santa’s arrival. Some of the prizes include hotel jacuzzi suite stays, gift baskets, toys, game night packages, helmets, swag, and more. 

“The value of the prizes is about $1,500 in total. Last year, we had over 2,400 entries into our daily draws,” Jenna says.

Each day in the 12 Days of Christmas are sponsored by a different business.

Santa in the Geopark

After the 12 Days of Christmas, Santa arrives in the Geopark for Sleddin’ Santa.

“Our local fire department, emergency response teams, RCMP, and paramedics will be dressing up their vehicles with lights and will be forming a kind of parade ahead of Santa as he sleds into the Geopark,” explains Jenna.

As families get ready to see Santa, they can track his arrival thanks to a cool new feature.

“Santa will be trackable! Families will be able to see exactly where he is in our community by visiting our tracking link,” she explains.

Sleddin’ Santa’s 2022 route

Another magical component will be a key feature of Sleddin’ Santa in 2022.

“We have the support from companies like Pattern Energy to ensure that every child receives a present from Santa that evening,” she says.

Sleddin’ Santa in 2021.

2023 at the Geopark

After a busy holiday season, Jenna says the Geopark will be busy with grant applications in January before programming ramps up again in February.

“We’ll have another Indigenous Program running. It’s a workshop sponsored by Pattern Energy that will have an elder teach how to make traditional mittens with a beading lesson. She’ll be coming in during Heritage Week,” she says.

The Geopark will then head into its busy season of programming in the spring and summer.To learn more about the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark, visit their website here. (LINK)