Miracle on Mackenzie aims to imbue children with spirit of Christmas

What began as a small idea has snowballed into what will hopefully become an afternoon of Christmas delight for the children of Revelstoke.

A big Christmas tree went up in Grizzly Plaza on Monday morning.

What began as a small idea has snowballed into what will hopefully become an afternoon of Christmas delight for the children of Revelstoke.

‘Miracle on Mackenzie’ intends to be a wondrous afternoon of anticipation, as children and youth in Revelstoke are being encouraged to head to downtown on December 10 with their families in order to help Santa and Mrs. Claus find their way to Grizzly Plaza.

“Mrs. Claus [is] coming down First Street. Santa Claus is coming down Mackenzie and they’re lost, and they need help finding each other,” said Shaun Aquiline, who is part of the Chamber of Commerce committee who has been organizing the event. “The kids have to help find and bring them together, and then they understand the value of what Christmas is about – helping people in need.

“Because the kids of Revelstoke help find that, they bring the passion out and then there’s spirit for Christmas.”

At the end of it all, a giant Christmas tree will light up. Aquiline will emcee the event and encourage the kids to help Mr. and Mrs. Claus find their way.

The organization of the event has been a huge undertaking, with meetings taking place monthly since last January to discuss ideas for the new event, which replaces the long-running, but fading, Santa Parade. As the months went on, the organizing committee formalized and was made up of Aquiline, Donna Lecompte, Yvette Pendergast, Nicole Cherlet, Jamie Hobgood, and David Lafreniere. Jamie Mayes, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, offered support.

“Once we had the arch, we kind of turned it into a story. I wrote a script for it so that we all kind of knew where the beginning, middle and end went,” said Aquiline. “Santa has some monologues and Mrs. Claus has a monologue. We wanted to have that element of having not just Santa, but having a female presence as well. Who better than Mrs. Claus?”

While Miracle on Mackenzie takes place in Downtown Revelstoke, Aquiline said it isn’t attached to any type of sidewalk sale. Instead, it’s about engaging the children of Revelstoke OVERSET FOLLOWS:and trying to get everyone into the holiday spirit. Businesses can choose to stay open later or hold sales at their discretion. Even so, a significant number of Revelstoke businesses and community individuals have come on board to support the new venture. In fact, Aquiline pointed out that the event has incurred zero costs so far because of the donations coming from the business community and individuals.

Miracle on Mackenzie takes place Saturday, December 10 from 3-5 p.m. on First Street and Mackenzie Avenue. Children, youth, families, and anyone who wants to get into the holiday spirit is invited to come down to help Santa and Mrs. Claus, listen to live music, enjoy face painting, treats and more. There will also be places available to warm up inside while waiting for Santa and Mrs. Claus to find their way to Grizzly Plaza for the tree light up.