Calgary kicked off the holilday season in December with many communities hosting free public events for people to join in for some Christmas cheer.
There was no shortage of options to choose from, with free family events sprouting up all over the city.
The community of Hillhurst-Sunnyside began December with its seventh annual Christmas in Kensington on Dec. 2, which featured Santa Claus to greet those passing by, coffee and treats, horse carriage rides, and a screening of the film “Love Acutally,” at the Plaza Theatre. It was all free for anybody to participate.
“My favourite part of [the event] is how fun it is,” said Annie MacInnis, a representative of the Kensington Business Revitalization Zone, and organizer of Christmas in Kensington.
The event is not-for-profit, and is funded by all the businesses in the Kensington area, MacInnis said.
“It’s an event that you can bring your children to, or that you can come to if you don’t have a lot of money,” said MacInnis.
“We fill the movie theatre every Saturday, and it’s such a great atmosphere,” she added.
Christmas in Kensington will continue every Saturday throughout the month of December, with a Christmas movie being shown each weekend.
Downtown Calgary also invited folks to participate in a public skate at Olympic plaza and witness a performance by DJ Clauz, at the Skate Nights with DJ Clauz event on Dec. 2.
DJ Clauz, otherwise known as Christian Greiffenstein, a local performer who also goes by the stage name DJ Worldwide, said he just assumed his Christmas alias recently, and enjoys bringing people together to celebrate the holidays.
“I’ve been doing shows for schools,” he said.
“It just seemed like a neat idea for Christmas,” said Greiffenstein.
“It’s about sharing who you are with other people, and everyone coming together as one. That kind of idea is what I love the most about Christmas,” he said.
Skate Nights with DJ Clauz will be occurring every Saturday of December, and invites skaters of all skill levels. Skates can be rented at Olympic Plaza for those who don’t own a pair.
East Village Calgary also hosted their fifth Light Up the Square Event on Dec. 2.
The event was open to Calgarians in the area, offering free coffee and treats, horse buggy rides and Christmas carollers, as well as the annual Christmas tree lighting.
It’s about sharing who you are with other people, and everyone coming together as one – Christian Greiffenstein
“It brings everyone from every building in the community together, as well as visitors and our neighbours at the drop-in centre,” said Jack Olson, a representative of East Village Calgary.
Many more opportunities to celebrate the holidays are open to the public over the holidays.