Banff will be celebrating Christmas throughout the day tomorrow, and you’re invited to stop by and join the festivities. The Banff’s part in the annual Winterstart Festival is on Saturday, December 5 this year and includes a variety of FREE events and activities that all ages will enjoy. Make it an all-day event, or drop by between holiday get-togethers and Christmas shopping. And if your schedule’s booked, read on for future holiday events in the area.
Christmas in the Courtyard
11:30am – 3:00pm – Bison Courtyard, 211 Bear St.
Bear Street will be bursting with holiday cheer as people join in dancing, singing Christmas carols, and listening to stories.
Holiday Wagon Rides
11:00am – 4:00pm – Banff Trail Riders Store, 132 Banff Ave.
Take a memorable tour through the streets of wintery Banff by horse and wagon. Tours are free however first come first serve & weather dependent.
Holiday Magic in the Mall
1:00pm – 4:00pm – Cascade Shops, 317 Banff Ave.
Face Painters, Balloon Twisters and other magical friends will delight children in Cascade Shops during the afternoon. People of all ages will enjoy festive songs from Christmas Choirs or taking an “Elfie” or family photo in the Photo Booth!
Santa Stops by the Train Station!
1:00pm – 4:00pm – Banff Train Station, junction of Railway Ave. & Elk St.
Come meet Santa and get a photo taken with him! Proceeds go to support Santa’s Anonymous. Relax in Storybook Corner, get crafty or get silly and pose with a festive ice sculpture.
A Whyte Christmas
1:00pm – 4:00pm – Whyte Museum, 111 Bear St.
Experience a visit from Santa, and enjoy carols, crafts, and treats in the Whyte Museum.
Santa Claus Parade of Lights
5:30pm – Banff Ave.
Banff Avenue will be filled with wonder and excitement during the Christmas parade. Christmas characters will come out to play alongside Santa himself as brilliantly lit floats parade down Banff Ave.
Festive Fun continues after the Parade
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Banff Ave Square.
The fun’s not over when the parade ends! Warm up next to roaring fire and toast a marshmallow as you’re serenaded by the joyful caroling of a choir.
New for 2015!
The new free free horse & wagon rides will get you to all the activities around town with ease. The rides will run continuously from Cascade Shops to Train Station from 1:00pm – 4:00pm and act as a shuttle. Pickup for Cascade Shops is in front of Unlimited on Banff Ave.
If you can’t make it to the events this weekend or if you want to more ways to enjoy the season, view the Winterstart festival schedule. Here are some highlights of upcoming events:
- WOOD WATER a Celebration. Dec 1 – Dec 19. Willock & Sax Gallery.
- Appaloosa. Dec 4 – Dec 6. Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon.
- Musical Encounter Series; Jacob Greenberg. Dec 4 (tonight!). Rolston Recital Hall.
- Stuart McLean, A Vinyl Christmas. Dec 5. The Banff Centre – The Eric Harvie Theatre.
- Castle Carolers Roam Banff Ave. Dec 6. Banff Ave.
- Santa Arrives at the Spirit of Christmas. Dec 6. The Spirit of Christmas.
- Reel Time Screening; Coming Home. Dec 7. Lux Cinema.