Horse and carriage rides were among the features of the first Willoughby Town Centre Christmas festival on Saturday.

Horse and carriage rides were among the features of the first Willoughby Town Centre Christmas festival on Saturday.

Christmas Festival may become an annual Willoughby event

The Christmas Festival at Willoughby Town Centre is one way to foster close-knit relationships within the community.

The Willoughby Town Centre Christmas Festival took place on Saturday at the new shopping centre, located just off 80 Avenue and 208 Street, south and west of Willoughby Elementary.

“This is our way of thanking members of the community for their support since the launch of Willoughby Town Centre in September of 2013, and bringing together local residents to celebrate the holidays,” said Hugh Carter, vice-president community and commercial development for Qualico Developments .

The Christmas Festival is one way to foster close-knit relationships within the community. The event was a fun, festive and family-friendly afternoon.

It provided entertainment, such as performances by local pop star Cole Armour, holiday choirs from Willougby Elementary and Richard Bulpitt Elementary, and Xtreme Talent Dance Company; as well as other activities such as a horse and carriage ride, gingerbread house competition, a stable-themed petting zoo, photos with Santa and the Ice Queen, and plenty of food vendors.

Guests were invited to participate in a food drive benefiting Source Food Bank in Langley.

Many businesses came together to sponsor the event, including Willoughby Town Centre retailers G&F Financial Group, RBC Royal Bank, Hakam’s Your Independent Grocer, and Shoppers Drug Mart.

Each of the retailers is dedicated to keeping Willoughby Town Centre a bustling hub for both business and social gatherings, and was extremely enthusiastic about helping boost the atmosphere of the Christmas Festival.

“Willoughby Town Centre was built with the vision of being a community gathering hub, and so we remain dedicated to seeing it thrive with sense of community at heart. The holidays are the perfect time to see everyone come together and so the Christmas Festival is our way of encouraging this, and giving back for the support we have been shown over the past year,” said Carter.

He said it is hoped this will become an annual event.