By Kay Knox and Eileen Sedgwick
Did you know that members of Wells Gray Country Seniors Society were riding about on the transit bus in the early evening of Dec. 1 with pencil and paper in hand?
These young-at-heart members of the community were viewing businesses and Bed and Breakfasts in Clearwater to see and record whose premises had the best decorations.
This great idea had come as the result of discussions between Lorne Selbee, Chamber of Commerce, and Alex Kramer of the Clearwater Rotary Club. Typically for our town, the bus had many miles to cover, but the results were worth it.
Wells Gray Home Hardware definitely has top bragging rights for local businesses with all the bling on top of the store; stop, and you will hear music playing. Century 21 displays a huge snowman, with lights at night and large ornaments on the tree visible in the daytime.
Strawberry Moose also got our attention with its multitude of coloured lights out and about in the yard glowing brightly.
Showing the season spirit with smaller, but still twinkling displays, were the local RCMP, Gateway Grill, Wells Gray Inn, Rooted by the River, Clearwater Towing, Clearwater Glass, and Kinder Morgan.
To our surprise and delight, the B and B homes we found were outdoing the commercial business class. Gateway Grill B and B located opposite the Catholic/United Church is covered with strings of lights and we chuckled as we caught sight of the lady of the house adding even more lights inside one window.
Close to Evergreen, the semi-circular drive into Canadian Bear Guesthouse drew the bus driver in so we could ooh and aah over their brilliant, unusual display with coloured lights a-plenty.
Hundreds of yellow lights at Al Peters B and B shine oh so bright and glowing in the Wyndhaven neighbourhood. Soft and gentle lights in front of Garden View B and B on Robson Street give a fairytale atmosphere.
The challenge is out there for more businesses and B and Bs to light up for next year.
At the end of our circuitous bus ride, the next and final destination was the cheerfully-lit Clearwater Information Centre where Rotarians had organized a fine, fun evening of entertainment.
It was heartening to see a good-sized crowd out enjoying the evening with its milder temperatures than many other years. As we arrived, the United Voices Choir was leading the carol singing, while the sizzling sound of barbecuing burgers and hot dogs was accompanied by the tempting smell of onions wafting about.
Soon after we came, Santa and Mrs. Claus arrived by fire truck just in time for the countdown. Suddenly the skies were alive with all colours of lights climbing up that enormous tree.
Youngsters visited Santa, leaving letters in the Santa mailbox and receiving goodie bags. Up the stairs and inside the inviting, attractively decorated Information Centre, little ones brought gingerbread cookies to life throughout the evening and a tree within was soon attractively loaded with pre-made ornaments.