The spirit of Christmas was alive and well in Downtown Abbotsford on December 1st when record crowds turned out at the 29th annual Winter Jubilee tree lighting and Christmas fair. More than 8,5000 attendees packed the streets of Essendene and Montrose Avenues to kick off the holidays during Abbotsford’s popular free outdoor Christmas celebration.
The annual event continues to grow in popularity due to event improvements, new Downtown merchants, and a growing population of community-minded residents. In 2017, the event attracted approximately 6,000 attendees up from 2016 when the attendance was about 5,000. 2016 was a pivotal year when the event rebranded as the “Winter Jubilee” and evolved into a much larger event with more live entertainment, Christmas markets, photos with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, a beer garden and other festive activities for families. New in 2018 was the addition of a skating rink which the Downtown Abbotsford Business Association hopes to enlarge for next year to accommodate even more skaters.
The 2018 Winter Jubilee attendees enjoyed live entertainment on two stages, a craft beer and wine garden, children’s activities, pictures with Santa, three Christmas markets, Christmas carollers, food trucks, skating, fireworks and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus led by the 861 Silverfox Air cadets.
The popular Christmas event was once again hosted by the Downtown Abbotsford Business Association in collaboration with many new community partners, including Coast Capital Savings, Ventura Properties, HUB Insurance, RBC Royal Bank, the University of the Fraser Valley, Aldergrove Credit Union, MINI Langley, Infinity Properties, Sutton Group West Coast Realty, Ferrario Investment Group, VIP Mazda and Prospera Credit Union; and community partners the Abbotsford News, Tourism Abbotsford, the City of Abbotsford and A & D Music. Many volunteers graciously donated their time from the Kiwanis Key Club, students from the Yale Secondary School Leadership program, and Pentecostal Church.