June 21, 2018

Winnipeg
16° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Opinion

A walk down Christmas lane in Selkirk

Volunteers band together for inaugural Holiday Alley

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/11/2017 (205 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Selkirk.

The city will host Holiday Alley this weekend. The two-day street festival, which celebrates art, sound, light and creativity, will take over a block of old downtown Selkirk on Manitoba Avenue East.

More than 100 volunteers have worked to make the inaugural festival a reality.

“I’m really excited because I love my community, and I think it’s a great place,” said Marlena Muir, who is volunteering her time at the festival by organizing a holiday market that will feature 100 crafters and artists.

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 60 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/11/2017 (205 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Selkirk.

The city will host Holiday Alley this weekend. The two-day street festival, which celebrates art, sound, light and creativity, will take over a block of old downtown Selkirk on Manitoba Avenue East.

SUPPLIED</p><p>Holiday Alley volunteers Maria Freeman (left) and Marlena Muir go over plans at the Riverside Grill for the upcoming festival that will take place in old downtown Selkirk this weekend.</p></p></p>

SUPPLIED

Holiday Alley volunteers Maria Freeman (left) and Marlena Muir go over plans at the Riverside Grill for the upcoming festival that will take place in old downtown Selkirk this weekend.

More than 100 volunteers have worked to make the inaugural festival a reality.

"I’m really excited because I love my community, and I think it’s a great place," said Marlena Muir, who is volunteering her time at the festival by organizing a holiday market that will feature 100 crafters and artists.

"Even though it’s a city, it’s very much still small-town oriented."

The festival is an offshoot of Homes for the Holidays, now in its third year, which invites people to tour unique homes and heritage sites in and around Selkirk that are decorated for Christmas.

Holiday Alley will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday with the illumination of 72,000 newly installed LED lights on 24 buildings on the one-block stretch of Manitoba Avenue East, and continue until Saturday night.

The festival includes a chili cook-off featuring 12 local chefs, as well as a public art display featuring six ice-fishing shacks that are whimsically decorated.

There will be beer and scotch tastings, storytelling by an Indigenous elder and performances by a traditional hand drum group.

Attendees will be able to walk down five back lanes along the festival block that are being turned into galleries and interactive displays, each with their own holiday theme.

Darlene Coughlin, one of the volunteers, says the friendships she’s made have been the best part of volunteering with Holiday Alley.

"Working with a group of ladies, just chatting and visiting — it’s fun," Coughlin says.

She got involved with Holiday Alley after volunteering the last two years with Homes for the Holidays.

Last year, Coughlin and her close friend of more than 10 years, Debby Kaniuga-Benstead, decorated a Selkirk bed-and-breakfast.

Kaniuga-Benstead died in September, making volunteering with Holiday Alley especially poignant for Coughlin.

"This is really hard to do this year because she’s not with me," Coughlin says. "We’re doing this alley, and it’s sort of in remembrance of her. She would have been right in there, partaking with us."

If it weren’t for volunteers, Holiday Alley couldn’t happen, says Joy Balmana, the festival’s logistics and communications co-ordinator.

"Holiday Alley… was developed, it was organized, and it’s run by volunteers," she says.

For Muir, seeing the community come together to put on the festival has been a joy.

"What I’m enjoying the most is just really seeing the teamwork and the connections," Muir says. "I am enjoying my time, and it is a challenge, but I like a challenge. I’ve really been looking forward to it."

The festival is still looking for volunteers. Anyone interested can visit holidayalley.ca/get-involved to apply.

If you know a special volunteer, please contact aaron.epp@gmail.com.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Monday, November 27, 2017 at 7:55 AM CST: Adds photo

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.