The local Business Improvement Area is looking to get a jump-start on the holiday season this Saturday with its inaugural “Winter Wonderland.”
“It’s looking pretty good,” said BIA chair Ted DeBenetti. “We’ve had a lot of good response from the businesses. A lot of people are participating.
“With the way the weather’s been, it looks like we’ll have a good day,” he added. “And even if it snows, hey, we’ll really have a winter wonderland.”
A myriad of events will take place on the 200 block of Scott Street, which will be blocked off from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
“It’s for safety really,” said DeBenetti. “When the parade comes, we won’t have to worry about kids going under vehicles to grab candy. And this way, there’ll be a nice, clear view.
“Plus, it’s more convenient for shoppers, who can criss-cross the street while they do their shopping,” he added.
Confirmed events Saturday include cookies and crafts at the Fort Frances Museum, street hockey and a goalie shoot-out with the Borderland Thunder, Christmas karaoke at Sight & Sound, photos with Santa at Howarth’s Home Centre, ice fishing for prizes at A Buck or Two, Beanie Baby Bingo at Tammi’s Flower Garden, toys from the public library, a Christmas buffet at the Rainy Lake Hotel, “reindeer” rides, and the sounds of a community choir.
“We’re just hoping everybody will get on board and make this a holiday shopping experience for Fort Frances,” enthused DeBenetti.
Although many stores will be closed by 5 p.m., everyone is urged to come back and line Scott Street for the Rotary Club’s 44th-annual Santa Claus parade, which gets underway at 6 p.m. for the Shevlin wood yard.
The theme for this year’s parade is “Mankind is Our Business,” and it’s not too late to enter a float, said Bill Badiuk of the Rotary Club.
Just a reminder no float should feature Santa Claus except the final one, which the Rotary Club is organizing.
Another reminder is that people on floats should not throw candy to spectators. Not only is it a safety hazard for kids, but some of candy simply goes to waste.
Fort High “elves” will be escorting the parade, handing out holiday treats.
CFOB and the Salvation Army once again will lead the parade along with Harold Kellar and his horses, “Pride” and “Joy,” collecting non-perishable food items for the local food bank.
The parade will proceed down Scott Street to the corner of Mowat Avenue, where it will turn right and disperse.
While pre-registering a float isn’t necessary, those with questions can call Badiuk at 274-6311.