Cochrane Light Up
If you love Christmas, you will definitely want to attend Cochrane’s Light Up—an annual street party that kick-starts the holiday season in Cochrane’s Historic Downtown. On arrival, the first thing I noticed was the bewildering hot dog buns that occupied the table tops of every sponsoring station. I soon realized that this was a tradition for local businesses to compete for recognition as the best hot-dog server of the event. Patrons lined up from stall to stall to pick the best bun and wiener; so busy were these line-ups they appeared as if shoppers nitpicked at the freshest meat from the finest butcher shop.
Super Heroes and Christmas Trees
Fun was everywhere, and entertainers surfaced from all directions. Superheroes and princesses dazzled children with glitter and heroic gestures. Even Bat Man who was guarding from above managed a smile and waved to his adoring fans. Grinch and Cindy Lou arrived together on stilts and meandered through the crowd that enveloped them. The 8-foot polar bear was definitely one of the most popular photo opportunities. Kids congregated inside a miniature hockey rink to engage in an ad-hoc tournament. As the night progressed, Christmas trees were lit up with one of them shining brilliantly from above the Rexall drug store.
As night fell, stars in the sky emerged and the temperature dropped considerably. The cold weather was not a concern though because roaring fire pots were set up to warm the downtown core. Along with hot dogs, participating sponsors also provided wood for the fire pots. A Tim Horton’s food truck also offered coffee and hot chocolate. So you see, staying warm was simply not a problem.
Christmas in Cochrane
Although the event took place in November, it was definitely Christmas in Cochrane. Storefronts stayed open and Historic Downtown eventually turned into a gigantic celebration. With kids running, dogs barking, people laughing, and carols playing, the excitement in the air was the bustle that only the holiday season can bring. Looking around, I am reminded of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” when Ebeneezer Scrooge reunites with Tiny Tim and family—everyone is happy, joyous, and grateful. There is no season like Christmas, and Cochrane’s way of lighting it up reminds us how fortunate we are to be able to come together as a community and enjoy the gift of one another’s company.
Raeann Cheung – guest journalist