Winterfest New Year's Eve returns to Pemberton for second year 

Event takes place on Dec. 31 at the Pemberton & District Community Centre

click to enlarge PHOTO BY DAVE STEERS - fest fun Winterfest activities will take place inside the Pemberton & District Community Centre as well as outside, depending on the weather, on Dec. 31.
  • photo by dave steers
  • fest fun Winterfest activities will take place inside the Pemberton & District Community Centre as well as outside, depending on the weather, on Dec. 31.

After years of battling Mother Nature, Pemberton Winterfest organizers have reached a truce.

Pemberton's celebration of all things winter moved primarily indoors last year and centred its main event around New Year's Eve activities for local families.

"It worked out really well," says Carlee Cindric from the Winterfest committee. "We saw lots of people stop by the community centre for the duration of the event. It was constantly busy. It was warm and comfortable."

Dubbed Winterfest New Year's Eve, the event is returning on Dec. 31 to the Pemberton & District Community Centre with movies, games, hot chocolate and treats—all free.

"We're sticking pretty close to last year's scheduled events," Cindric adds. "However, we are kicking things off with a dance party with Ira Pettle. Everyone in Pemberton loves him."

That kids' party will start at 2:30 p.m., followed by a movie screening of Frozen Sing-Along at 3:30 p.m. Afterwards, there will be another movie for older kids—age eight to 12—that locals were still voting on at press time. (Think The Karate Kid or Jurassic World, Cindric says.)

Throughout the day there will be (weather-dependent) outdoor activities at the community centre, hot dogs and s'mores, pizza, hot chocolate and fire pits.

"We're bringing back face painting and glitter tattoos, a kids' craft zone, a games café where people can check out board games," Cindric says.

Finally, the celebrations will culminate in a family dance party—with a 4 p.m. disco ball—followed by fireworks at Signal Hill Elementary School at 8 p.m.

"Everyone was really impressed with the fireworks," Cindric says. "We threw a lot more budget to the fireworks than in past years because we wanted to make that a bigger piece given that it's New Year's Eve."

While some people said they missed the outdoor activities on One Mile Lake last year, Cindric says the fluctuating temperatures in recent years have made it nearly impossible to plan on-ice events. They hope to host pop-up lake events with a week's notice in the New Year, but that's still weather dependent.

"If the ice is looking good and we have a beautiful day without tons of snow on the ice, we'll enhance what's happening out there with music and fire pits," she says. "That decision for those pop-up events is made a week in advance. That's the best we can do, given Mother Nature."

Alongside the New Year's Eve events—which are mostly geared towards families, but are open to everyone—Winterfest is looking to bring other community activities that happen from Dec. 31 through February under its banner.

"We're connecting with local groups, organizations, clubs and businesses to find out what public events and activities they're offering that we can help promote," Cindric says.

For more information on Winterfest New Year's Eve or upcoming events, visit pembertonwinterfest.com.

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