The holiday season will officially commence in Beiseker Dec. 1, with the annual Christmas in the Village – an event Assistant CAO Gail Peckham described as an “exciting evening for our little community.” “It’s a wonderful kickoff to Christmas,” she said. Christmas in the Village starts at 10 a.m., Peckham said, when the doors open for a holiday market at the Beiseker Community Centre which runs until 3 p.m. Susie Spurgeon, the market’s organizer, said at least 50 vendors are lined up for the market, hailing from Beiseker, Airdrie, Calgary and elsewhere. “You’re gonna get personal items that you’re not going to find in the big-box stores,” Spurgeon said. “It’s a way to do your last-minute shopping, as well as support the local small communities.” The market also provides families with the opportunity to have pictures taken with none other than Santa Claus himself. Starting around the same time and ending at noon, a 4-H food drive will collect items to help supply the Village’s Christmas hamper program. “If people aren’t home and they’d like to donate to the food bank, they can leave their bag of groceries out on the front step and it will be picked up,” Peckham said. According to Peckham, typically 30 Beiseker families – both urban and rural – register for the Christmas hampers, which provide gifts, everything needed for a traditional Christmas dinner and a week’s worth of food for after the holiday. “We have a number of families that are in need,” she said. “This is just our little way of trying to support them over the Christmas holidays.” In the afternoon, the festivities will transition to Main Street, where Christmas crafts will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. at various businesses, including Arcadia Café, Never Done Quilting, Ancora Design and Once Upon a Flower. Attendees will also be able to warm themselves at a bonfire and enjoy hot chocolate and other refreshments. Christmas in the Village concludes with fireworks at 5 p.m., followed by the annual Santa Claus Parade along Main Street, which will be closed while the floats make their way through Beiseker – with Santa riding atop the Village’s fire truck. “It’s a great little parade that we’ve had for the last few years,” Peckham said. “It’s kind of like an electric-light parade because all the floats are lit up, and, of course, it being five o’clock in December, it’s pitch black. It’s very exciting for the little kids.” The number of floats in the parade is usually weather dependent, according to Peckham, and while participants are encouraged to register their floats with the Village ahead of time, anyone is welcome to show up at the Village office and join in. “We ask all [parade] participants to please be here by 4:30 p.m., so we can get the floats lined up,” Peckham said. The event attracts hundreds of people from the surrounding area to the village for a full day of festive activities, Peckham said.