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Moonlight Madness promotes Christmas spirit

Fort Macleod residents are urged to join the Moonlight Madness fun on Friday, Nov. 26 to kick off the Christmas season.

Lighting of the community Christmas tree, a free meal, special light show, music and late-night shopping are part of the fun planned by the Chamber of Commerce.

“There might be a sighting of Santa,” Chamber administrative assistant Sydney Tobler added. “It would be great if children could come out for it.”

With the Santa Claus Parade cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, Moonlight Madness is now the focal point of Fort Macleod’s traditional weekend.

Residents are encouraged to turn Moonlight Madness into a big community celebration while supporting local businesses.

“I would like to hope so,” Tobler said of Moonlight Madness taking on special meaning. “We would love it if people would come out. There are so many great things happening.”

Fort Macleod Allied Arts will stage its annual giant craft sale from 5-9 p.m. Friday at the community hall. The sale continues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27.

Moonlight Madness gets under way at 5:30 p.m. Friday with a free meal sponsored by the Town of Fort Macleod.

M&A Catering will hand out 500 individual pre-packaged take-out meals in the Devonian Walkway.

Mike Bourassa of M&A Catering is finalizing the menu to ensure it complies with COVID-19 precautions.

The Ray Bannon Band will provide the sound track for the evening with three sets of live music beginning at 6 p.m.

The band will set up under a tent near Stronghold Brewery to play seasonal favourites.

The lighting of the community Christmas tree at 6:30 p.m. at the west end of Main Street is a Fort Macleod tradition that continues on Friday.

In keeping with pandemic precautions, the carolling usually held prior to the tree-lighting has been cancelled this year.

The winners of the Chamber’s annual business window-decorating contest will be announced on the organization’s Web site and in The Macleod Gazette.

The tree-lighting has an interesting twist this year, with Matthew Pelesky of Micro Glow adding components for a 10-minute light show set to music.

Following the tree-lighting, M&A Catering will hand out ’smore kits at the Devonian Walkway.

Hot chocolate will be served in front of the Main Street Office.

Late-night shopping at Fort Macleod businesses continues until about 10 p.m.

“They are very excited,” Tobler said of business owners and staff preparing for Moonlight Madness. “They’re excited about all the changes we have made and have some great sales planned.”

Fire pits will be lit in several locations on Main Street so people can get warm.

Although many activities take place outside, people will have to follow public health measures such as maintain a two-metre distance from others and wearing masks.

“We still have to encourage social distancing and masking,” Tobler said. “That is part of having outdoor events.”

Moonlight Madness sponsors include Davis Dodge, Fortis Alberta Inc., John Guliker Royal LePage and Scougall Motors,

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