ESTEVAN - Shopping, family activities, free movies and other attractions were part of the Estevan Downtown Business Association's third annual Miracle on Fourth.
The 1100 and 1200 blocks of Fourth Street were shut down for several hours for Saturday's event, allowing people to easily move to the different businesses and enjoy activities in the middle of the road. Most of the businesses on Fourth Street were open Saturday and had in-store specials to entice shoppers.
"The businesses today had a great day," said Robert Godfrey with Lemon Wedge Marketing, which is part of the DBA. "There was a lot of traffic, steady throughout the entire event, which was great to see.
"What was really cool is, in talking with the different businesses, there was a lot of out-of-town people that were at the event today. Some were in town for hockey and saw this event and took part. Some people travelled to Estevan from some of the surrounding communities to check it out."
It proved to be a great way to show the diverse business community that Estevan has to offer, he said.
"I think a lot of people don't realize just how many things you can get locally right here in Estevan," said Godfrey.
They couldn't gage the actual number of people who attended, but Godfrey said a couple hundred people attended each of the matinees at the Orpheum Theatre, and the Estevan Lions Club reported serving hot chocolate and hotdogs to over 750 people.
"They ended up running out early," said Godfrey.
He believes well over 1,000 people went through downtown Estevan over the course of a few hours.
Also during the day the Souris Valley Museum offering carnival and Christmas games for families. Santa Claus interacted with children throughout the day. Graham Collie brought his Clydesdale horses for sleigh rides down Fourth and Fifth Streets, and Godfrey said there was a line-up of people throughout the event. The Estevan Great North U18 AAA Bears and the Estevan Primec Controls Canada U13 AA Bruins played street hockey with kids.
"There was just a lot going on, and it was great to see and it just gets everybody into the holiday spirit, getting to take part in these events," said Godfrey.
New for this year were a few outdoor fire pits in the 1200-block of Fourth Street where people could warm up or prepare marshmallows and smores. The Estevan Fire Rescue Service held its annual stuff the truck toy drive downtown. People could drop by with a toy donation for the Estevan Community Hamper Association's Angel Tree program, and take a look inside the fire vehicles and an Estevan Police Service car, as the EPS helped out with the drive.
"In talking with the members that were there, they said they had a great turnout and a lot of people came and donated," said Godfrey.
Gale Tytlandsvik had the Garden Park on Fourth open so people could see the Christmas trees that have been decorated by Tytlandsvik and others. Many people had photos taken.
Godfrey noted the DBA was nervous on Friday when a snowstorm rolled through the southeast, bringing a few centimetres of snow on top of rain that fell late Thursday and early Friday. But the sunshine returned on Saturday, the temperatures were above normal and the wind diminished.
"The snow added a nice festive touch to the event," said Godfrey. "We want to give a major shout out to Hayley Deconinck and her roads and drainage crew [with the City of Estevan]. It was a big job taking care of the snow and ice on Fourth Street. This event would certainly have not been possible without their hard work in preparing the street for us," said Godfrey.
He praised all of the businesses that are part of the DBA for putting on events like Miracle on Fourth Street. Not only do they allow people to see what downtown has to offer, but they provide another fun community activity.
The DBA is already discussing options for next year to make Miracle on Fourth Street even bigger.