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A magical history of Unity’s Winter Wonderland

The Winter Wonderland tradition is in its 13th year, with some exciting new additions.

UNITY – A disappointing start to the holiday season in 2010 has since grown from its humble beginnings to a community-wide spectacular.

Unity had always held a festive evening, allowing shoppers to shop later than regular store hours, picking up odds and ends to finish off their holiday shopping lists. The evening includes a Parade of Lights, however in 2010 it had to be cancelled. The Unity Credit Union still wanted to have something for the kids to enjoy, so with some quick planning and preparations, the Night of Lights hayrides started. Hot chocolate and hot dogs were served that evening to more than 300 people.

Thirteen years later, that one evening has grown into Winter Wonderland. Over the years, the number of businesses that take part in the evening has grown. What used to be just down Main Street has now trickled off to the side street businesses. Many have crafts for the kids, cookies and hot chocolate drinks to warm up, or even discounted prices to entice shoppers to support local operations.

This year, Winter Wonderland has some additions to the festivities. Glow was a hit with visitors to Prairieland Park in recent years so organizers of Winter Wonderland wanted to create that same buzz here at home.

“Businesses and groups are welcomed to create a glowing space at the Legion. It could be winter or holiday themed and businesses are able to advertise within their space,” said organizer Hollie Robertson.

The Chamber Prize Tree will offer discounts, gift cards, Unity Bucks and take-home prizes at the Legion. Also new this year is a toy swap at Oak & Stone Realty.

“Children can bring their gently used toys for something new. The used toys will be donated to children’s charities,” adds Robertson.

The much-anticipated Santa’s Hut is also a new event this year at the Nutrien building. The Unity Kin Club has been working hard year-round with crafty volunteers to create gifts children can purchase to give to someone they love.

“We wanted to give kids the opportunity to pick out a gift, pay for it and have it wrapped for their parent, grandparent or friend,” said Kin Club member, Jodi Mack.

Children will be helped by a Kin Club member, as no one wants the surprise ruined.

Canada Post will be having a snowflake craft and Hollyhock’s Greenhouse will be offering a special craft for adults only.

New business Out of Africa will be having South African games along with delicious food and treats.

Other places serving food will be Credential Financial Strategies with taco in a bag and Bluez on 2nd with pizza by the slice.

“We are hopeful that the mild weather will hold out for us and really get everyone out to enjoy all that our town has to offer,” adds Robertson.

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