December 18, 2020
It was a delightful, twinkle-light display of Holiday Cheer! Two South Slave Campgrounds received holiday light makeovers in December to the delight of children of all ages.
Campsites at the Hay River Territorial Park Campground and at the Queen Elizabeth Territorial Park Campground were magically transformed into drive-through holiday light displays by community groups, businesses and organizations in both communities.
The Campground Christmas Event hosted at the Hay River Territorial Park collected a "truckload" of toys for the Hay River Secret Santa charity. (Photo Credit: Aaron Tambour)
The Hay River event was inspired by the Northern Spirit Light Show at Evergreen Park in Grande Prairie. Hay River’s Judy West-Pratt visited the event in 2019 and thought it would be a wonderful event for Hay River. So West-Pratt recruited a group of friends - dubbed them the “Campground Christmas Crew” - and together they worked together to organize the first Campground Christmas event for Hay River.
The Hay River’s Christmas Campground event ran in the evenings of December 4th through December 6th from 6:00pm – 10:00pm. The three-night event welcomed 2,246 visitors and brought-in a whopping 57 crates of food items, $8908.00 cash donations for food boxes, and a truckload of toys for Secret Santa.
Hay River's Aurora Ford Christmas Light display at the Campground Christmas event at Hay River Territorial Park (Photo Credit: Aaron Tambour)
Meanwhile, the “Light Up the Park” Event at the Queen Elizabeth Campgrounds in Fort Smith was launched on December 13th and runs until December 24th. The first night of the Fort Smith event welcomed 300-400 people and brought-in over 100 pounds of non-perishable food items.
Fort Smith's Queen Elizabeth Territorial Park hosted the community's "Light Up the Park" Event and collected toys and food donations. (Photo Credit: Melissa Johns)
The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment was a strong supporter of both of these wonderful holiday community events by clearing the snow from campground roads and campsites and by turning on the electrical connections.
“It’s a perfect way to spread some holiday cheer this season. It’s certainly our pleasure to be able to contribute to these fantastic events that benefit so many different people in the community.” Angela Desilets, Parks Planning and Operations Officer