Despite a bit of rain, the 28th annual Winter Jubilee tree lighting and Christmas fair attracted record crowds to Downtown Abbotsford on December 2nd from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. More than 6,000 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 has seen a significant spike in traffic over the years due to event improvements, new Downtown merchants, and a growing population of community-minded residents. In 2016 the annual tree lighting evolved into the “Winter Jubilee” as it’s known now, and was expanded to include more live entertainment, Christmas markets, photos with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, a beer garden and other festive activities for families. New in 2017 was the addition of a second stage, pony rides, bounce castle, face painting, balloon twisting and appearances by Christmas characters like Frosty the Snowman, The Grinch, Olaf, elves and Santa’s reindeer; plus more food trucks and vendors, and a larger craft beer and wine garden.
“We were delighted to be able to host this event again this year and are thrilled by the community’s enthusiasm for this annual holiday celebration,” said Dave Algra, President of the Downtown Abbotsford Business Association. “We’re already looking forward to next year’s Winter Jubilee on December 1, 2018 and hope to be able to add a few new surprises!”
The 2017 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, pony rides, fireworks and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus with a short parade, led by the Abbotsford Police Department and the 861 Silverfox Air cadets.
The 2017 Winter Jubilee was once again hosted by the Downtown Abbotsford Business Association in collaboration with many new community partners, including presenting sponsors – Tourism Abbotsford, Upper Montrose and Coast Capital Savings and community partners – City of Abbotsford, RBC Royal Bank, Algra Brothers, Spruce Collective, Aldergrove Credit Union, Prospera Credit Union, Envision Financial, A & D Music, Vancity, The Abbotsford News, Abbotsford Arts Council, Infinity Properties, The Abbotsford Tulip Festival, Home Depot, Ledgeview Christmas Tree Farms, Xtreme Talent, Tracycakes Bakery Cafe, Fraser Valley Cedars, Canadian Tire, Save On Foods Sumas Way, Abbotsford Kiwanis Foundation, Abbotsford Minute Man Press and Dynamic Dance.