The town of Morinville is getting into the holiday spirit.


For more than 25 years, the Lite Up the Nite Christmas Festival has been a part of the Morinville community. Last year's event was mainly virtual due to COVID-19 and event organizers are excited that it's returning as an in-person festival for 2021.


"We're happy to be back hosting a more traditional, in-person experience to our community; it'll be a great time," said Teena Hughson, Morinville's community engagement and partnership specialist.


Hughson described the event as a community effort, with the town of Morinville taking more of an organizational role in the event and many different organizations and individuals focused on delivering the festival.


The three-day event kicks off on Friday (Nov.26) at noon with "An Old-Fashioned Christmas" at the Morinville Museum; people are invited to view artefacts of Christmas past at the museum, which will be offering free admission. In the evening, a drive-thru food drive will get underway at the Morinville Food Bank located at 9916 104 Street.


Saturday's festivities begin in the morning with a free take-out pancake breakfast with Santa at the Rendez-Vous Centre. At 10 a.m., the Family Festival will take place at the Cultural Centre with plenty of festive activities and performances for the little ones.


"Throughout the event, there will be roving entertainment provided by the Indigo Circus Performers. There'll be two glitter tattoo artists on-site, there will be Christmas crafts, a photo booth, letters to Santa and colouring contest takeaways," Hughson described.


The Morinville Museum will be open again on Saturday for Christmas artefact viewing from noon until 5 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., the Lite Up the Nite Parade will begin and travel west down 100 Avenue, from 95 to 102 Street. Free hot chocolate will be available, courtesy of the Morinville Library, followed by "Lite Up the Park" at 6 p.m. at St. Jean Baptiste Park.


Saturday's events will wrap up at 7 p.m. with fireworks over Notre Dame Park.


The festival's final day will begin with a free drop-in family skate at the Morinville Leisure Centre. Hughson said the town is encouraging everyone to wear red and green while taking in some Christmas music. At 2 p.m., residents are invited to make ornaments and help decorate the community tree at the Cultural Centre.


Furthermore, the town is also holding some Christmas contests, including a colouring contest and a home décor contest. Winners of each contest will win a $75 gift card to a Morinville retailer of their choice.


Hughson noted some indoor festival events may be subject to the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP), and to be prepared, the details of each event and whether they are subject to the REP can be found here.