Silverton X-mas a winter wonderland
Linden Fontaine takes a dive down the ice slide at the Silverton Christmas by the Lake celebration last Saturday, Dec. 4. Kids lined up to take a dive down the icy slide.
Published: December 08, 2010 9:00 AM
By Monika Smutny
The festivities of the fourth annual Christmas by the Lake presented itself as bigger, better and brighter than ever! Blue bird skies and the Valhalla Range was the backdrop for a crowd of approximately 1,800 this year in Silverton and the Gallery Grounds.
Inspiration for this event stems from an old history dating back 700 years in Europe. Co-organizer Armand Lange speaks fondly of these Christmas markets where the community comes together in churches and castles. With the West Kootenays region rated fourth in density of artisans and craftsmen/women, the opportunity for this type of gathering to flourish is exceptional.
Santa Claus and the Gingerbread Man greeted young and old from as far as 100 Mile House and Sicamous. Shuttle services coordinated with Nakusp and Nelson brought more visitors up and down the valleys. There was a plethora of activities including 33 vendors displaying everything from homemade chocolates laced with wild huckleberries to locally made jewelry, stain glass and children’s attire.
Highlights for the kids included the popular ice slide and roasting banik over an open fire. Ambitious children also had the chance to win a digital camera while strolling the grounds piecing together a mysterious Christmas carol from musical notes displayed on wooden signs throughout. Cool temperatures brought some folks inside where the children could craft a Christmas card or ornament; adults mingle with old friends shopping from the many booths available. Step outside again with mug in hand of traditional Gluhwein (a mix of red wine, citrus peel and spices) indulge in a taste of roasted chestnuts and take in musical entertainment on the stage all day, including Nelson and Slocan Valley Community Bands, caroling from Lucerne’s grade 3/4 class or sit on Santa’s lap for a photo.
Local wood carvers Bill Christianson, Luc Vreys with blacksmiths Jamie Barber, Chuck Burkholder and ice sculptors David Ducharme and Peter Vogelaar were back once again to delight audiences with their art and handiwork.
The 2010 Christmas by the lake logo design for the mugs was inspiration for the magical display created with custom hand-made and specialized ice sculpting tools make this piece of art worth a stop to admire. Due to fluctuating temperatures and environmental factors, the ice taken from Fish Lake near Retallack can appear either clear or white.
Attendance and organization could not be possible for the success without the help of over 140 volunteers, Silverton Community Club, many months of planning and the sponsors of Canadian Heritage, Central Kootenay Regional District, Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Power Corporation, Soup du jar, Silverton Building Supplies, Villages of New Denver and Silverton and the Slocan Lake Recreation Commission No. 6.
This is truly an event for everyone, families, and the surrounding communities for years to come, bring in December and the old fashioned Christmas spirit! See you next year!