Inaugural winter festival to light up Wetaskiwin

The City of Wetaskiwin is putting forth a maximum of $55,725 to light city hall for Christmas and partake...

The City of Wetaskiwin is putting forth a maximum of $55,725 to light city hall for Christmas and partake in the first Wetaskiwin Winter Warm-up.

Councillors discussed lighting options and other expenses during their Sept. 26 meeting following a presentation and funding request from the Wetaskiwin Community Engagement Committee.

Council choose the second lighting option, which comes in at $30,009. Other budgetary items for the city include marketing, $11,416; decorating, $28,908; venue rentals, $1,017; entertainment, $5,470; food/hosting, $1,910; city services in kind, $1,500; and a contingency fund, $1,500.

The total Wetaskiwin Community Engagement Committee budget for 2016 is $35,000.

There is a possibility the funds needed by the city could be reduced if grants are awarded for the event, which takes place Nov. 25 and 26.

Funding is included in the 2016 municipal budget for the event.

“My concern is where the addition is coming from in the budget,” said Coun. June Boyda. The money, at this time, will come from unspecified reserves.

Coun. Joe Branco questioned how the lights would be stored and council was informed they are meant to stay up year-round so there would not be future installation costs, making the lights themselves a one-time capital purchase.

The festival will begin Nov. 25 with the city’s annual Santa Claus Parade, followed by the lighting of City Hall. Nov. 26 includes a pancake breakfast and meet-and-greet with Santa, a craft sale, ice sculptures, entertainment and winter activities. Two contests, one to name the moose mascot and a second the home business decorating contest, will run for the event.