Nelson elves to help welcome Santa to Baker Street

Elf Walk invites Nelson to embrace their inner elves and dress up for the evening’s festivities.

This year's Elf Walk is scheduled for December 6 at 5:30 p.m.

Elf Walk returns to Baker Street for its second year, bigger and better than before.

Building on the success of last year’s event, which saw nearly 1,000 people make their way to Baker Street on a cold November night, Elf Walk is back to welcome Santa back to Baker.

Inspired by the flash mob movement, which involves people assembling in a designated area for a spontaneous act of performance art, Elf Walk invites Nelson to embrace their inner elves and dress up for the evening’s festivities.

“Last year’s Elf Walk was a total shock. Previous years attendance for Santa’s visit and tree lighting ceremony would see a few hundred people coming out. So when over 1,000 people jammed into the 400-block of Baker last year, we knew we’d hit on something. It’s pretty clear that Nelson likes getting dressed up,” says co-organizer Joy Barrett.

Elf Walk was born out of a series of meetings held by the group that initiated a campaign to step up Nelson’s holiday lighting plan for 2012. Last year, the city approved the allocation from the Spurway Trust Fund to wrap light posts and beef up the two big trees on the 400 block, but this year with additional funds from the same trust, they’re taking it to the next level, running lights along the Baker Street skyline with the help of dozens of volunteers, and the Nelson Fire Department.

Event co-organizer Maureen Crawford notes that the addition of thousands of lights to the block will definitely up the festive feel of the area.

“It took a huge amount of effort to get all of the building owners on board, and with a few exceptions, we’ve managed to secure permission to run lights along the whole of Baker Street,” Crawford said. “We’re hoping the effect turns out to be as amazing as we think it will be!”

Elves are invited to head down to Baker Street starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, December 6. The Rotary Club will be serving up sausages, burgers and hotdogs, there will be hot chocolate and cider, a “best dressed elf” contest for the younger elves, and the winner for the Nelson Star colouring contest will be announced.

Then, shortly after 6 p.m., the elves will gather to parade down Baker to meet Santa, who will once again ride into town with the Nelson Fire Department, and march him up for the tree lighting at 6:30. Afterwards, Santa make his way to the Trading Company to meet the kids while grown-up elves enjoy some music, lights and each other’s company.

“It is exciting to see this event grow into a bigger winter festival with something for everyone. We know that children from all over look forward to coming downtown to see Santa light up the tree and meet the jolly old fellow,” says John McCuaig, event coordinator for the Nelson Business Association. “The NBA looks forward to getting in touch with Santa through our special contacts, and making sure he has time to stop by our community.”

Elf Walk is being put on by the Festival of Lights committee, and the Nelson Business Association, with the generous support of the City of Nelson, Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism, Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce, the Nelson Star, The Nelson Daily, and Mountain FM/103.5 The Bridge.

For up-to-date information on the event and essential elf tips, check out the Elf Walk facebook page.

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