It was another cold night for the Chamber of Commerce’s Night of Lights initiative.
It was cold, but there was still plenty of people downtown shopping and taking in the few events going on.
It was a little too cold to have street hockey going in the alley by The Shop, but hopefully next year, said Blaine Filthaut, Chamber of Commerce president.
“We picked up a few ideas on how to do it better for next year,” Filthaut said adding they wouldn’t know what to do differently without trying it once.
The purpose of the Night of Lights was to increase traffic downtown during late night shopping in December.
Last year businesses downtown did not see many people taking advantage of the later hours.
On top of that some businesses did not even stay open during the late night shopping, according to Filthaut.
“We saw a 100 per cent increase over last year. Maybe even a 200 or 300 per cent increase.”
Those who came out in the cold night took in carols at the Broken Spoke with Cowboy Church, Pictures with Santa Claus at Cypress Credit Union, a puppet show for kids at the Library and even a tour of the decoration light winners.
The tour went to all the winners of the contest, as chosen by the Communities in Bloom judges.
This year the contest took a slightly different format.
The Communities in Bloom steering committee came up with different categories to judge homes and businesses in Maple Creek.
They judged on traditional displays, modern displays and the most lights, to name a few of the categories.
“We wanted to encourage people to really decorate this year. I think there are more lights up this year by far, compared to last year,” Filthaut said.
The Chamber is there to promote Maple Creek as a desirable place to live and work. These events are meant to show that, according to Filthaut.
“This is a great community and very family friendly. It’s a great place to raise a family, I think.”
Night of Lights has a few kinks to work out, but that is to be expected after the first of anything.
Filthaut, though, said he is very happy with the results of the Night of Lights.
“I’d say it’s something that worked out and we will look at what we can do better for next year.”
With one day left of late night shopping on Dec. 22, Filthaut hopes to see people come out and take advantage of the businesses in Maple Creek for their last minute gift and stocking stuffer needs.
There will be no events planned for the night but many of the businesses will have their own incentives to come out for the last night of late night
“I hope businesses will take the initiative to make downtown an attractive place to shop Thursday nights,” Filthaut said.
Filthaut said he believes the Christmas spirit is alive and well in Maple Creek, and it can be seen in those who helped and volunteered for both Cowtown Christmas and Night of Lights.
“The Chamber really appreciates all the help and volunteers who have made this possible,” he said.