Harbour Quay lights up Port Alberni’s waterfront

A couple of hundred people gathered in the record-breaking cold on Friday night (Nov. 29, 2019) to watch the lighting of the Harbour Quay Christmas tree, enjoy entertainment from Timbre! and the ADSS high school band, grab a sweet treat, gab with Santa Claus and shop late during the annual Light-Up celebration. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Sweet treats and toasty firepits were the order of the chilly night at Harbour Quay on Friday (Nov. 29) during the annual Light-Up festivities. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Karsen Cartlidge, 9, talks with Santa Claus while his younger brother Kolton enjoys a candy cane treat at the Alberni Aquarium during Harbour Quay Light-up event on Nov. 29, 2019. (SUSAN QUINN/Alberni Valley News)
Adalynn David, left, and her siblings Tahlon, Kaycen and Aaliyah take turns chatting with Santa at the Alberni Aquarium during the annual Harbour Quay Light-Up on Nov, 29, 2019. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Timbre! Choir members sing underneath the Christmas tree at the annual Harbour Quay Light-Up on Nov. 29, 2019. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
The ADSS band’s trombone player found a way to keep warm while performing at Harbour Quay’s annual Light-Up festivities on Nov. 29, 2019. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Members of the Folk Song Circle sing Frosty the Snowman at the Port Alberni Train Station during Harbour Quay Light-Up on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. Free cookies, hot chocolate and an operatonal model train set by Bob Pfannenschmidt captured the attention of people of all ages. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Record-setting cold temperatures didn’t deter a couple of hundred people from gathering at Harbour Quay on Friday night (Nov. 29) for Port Alberni’s annual Christmas Light-Up event.

Timbre! Choir and the ADSS band entertained people around the lit up tree, while hardy vendors set up with fire pits and warm, friendly attitudes for people wanting a late-night shop. Stores also stayed open until 8 p.m.

Santa Claus was in the house at the Alberni Aquarium, where kids could find a sweet treat, make some crafts, visit Donut the red-eared slider turtle (full name Donut Martin Sheldon Theodore) and look at all the other fish and sea creatures in the aquarium’s tanks.

At the Port Alberni Train Station, volunteers with the Western Vancouver Island Industrial Heritage Society had Bob Pfannendschmidt’s model railway running, cookies and hot chocolate were available, steam train and McLean Mill souvenirs were available for early Christmas presents. The Barry Miller Trio and Folk Song Circle provided musical entertainment.

Environment Canada reported that Port Alberni’s temperatures dropped to -9.2 degrees Celsius on Friday, surpassing the previous record of -7.5 C set on the same day in 2014.

If you missed the Light-Up at Harbour Quay, the Blue Marlin Inn on Johnston Road at Margaret Street will hold its annual Tree Light-Up from 6–8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1. The tree lights will go on at approximately 7:30 p.m. The Blue Marlin will have hot chocolate and hotdogs, Christmas music, a hay wagon and more.

This year, the Blue Marlin will be home to a special toy drive for families affected by the Western Forest Products forestry strike. Please consider bringing a gently used toy with you to donate to the toy drive.

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