Travel Alberta

Volunteers bring Christmas sparkle to downtown High River

An army of volunteers accepted the challenge from Canalta Hotels to “Flood High River with Lights” and arrived in High River at 9 a.m. on Saturday, November 30 to festoon the downtown core with Christmas cheer. The decorations will be completed just in time for the town’s annual Santa Claus parade.

Canalta Hotels put forward the challenge as an initiative to promote High River in a positive, sustainable way that will encourage visitors into town. “We wanted to encourage people to visit High River and see that it is rebuilding itself into a thriving community,” said Dan Sullivan, director of destination development for Canalta Hotels.

Both the Ramada and Super 8 decked their exteriors with seasonal displays and staffs added a personal touch to the entranceways. “We want the hotels to be a beautiful entrance into the town,” said Sullivan.

The volunteers that came from Calgary focused their efforts throughout downtown and along the parade route.

Decking the downtown area with Christmas lights is our way of giving the Town something to smile about,” said Don Johnston, volunteer organizer. “The parade is an important event not only for High River but for surrounding communities. To support the town, we want to make sure the parade route is lit up in full Christmas style,” he added.

Brett Wilson was one of the first to commit to the downtown project as a major sponsor. Other sponsors include all the Rona stores in Calgary and Black Diamond, Co-op Community Foundation, Fortis, Albi Homes, Prairie Merchant, effectrixgroup and ATB financial. Employees from many of these sponsors volunteered their Saturday to help in a full-day decorating blitz in downtown High River.

The local Alta Vita restaurant and its suppliers stepped forward to provide food for the hungry crews who strung lights, painted window art and filled the entire Santa Claus parade route with holiday sparkle.

“The Town deeply appreciate this continuing demonstration of community spirit and generosity from businesses and individuals outside High River,” said Mayor Craig Snodgrass “It reminds us that we continue to have a lot of support from outside the community.”

The Town’s Business and Tourism Development office has also been working exceptionally hard with local partners to create a festive spirit in the town’s public spaces. An extensive list of events and activities planned for the holiday season are posted on the website.

Any organization that has an event planned during the holiday season is encouraged to email the Town with the information at to have the activity or event added to the Christmas web page. 

Town of High River