A Stettler tradition returned on Nov. 25.
Hundreds of people gathered into the blocked off section of Main Street and 49 Avenue to witness the lighting of the Stettler Christmas tree.
The long-standing tradition had not been able to run during the pandemic but with those pandemic-era restrictions gone a full celebration was able to be held for 2022.
Mayor Sean Nolls kicked things off at 6 p.m., where he talked about the tradition and the people that make Stettler such a great place to live. He then introduced the crowd to the 2021 and 2022 citizens of the year, who had the honour of flipping the switch to turn on the tree.
The 2021 citizens of the year were Tana Nixon and Al Campbell, and the 2022 citizens of the year were Gail Peterson and Tom Campbell,
After the switch was flipped and the lights came on, Nolls led everyone in singing Here Comes Santa Claus which triggered a visit from the jolly old elf himself.
Santa arrived via horse-drawn carriage as the song was ending, and stuck around for a little while for photos with children.
At 6:30 p.m., a new event, the balloon drop, was held.
A pen was set up on 49 Avenue near the tree, and Heartland Industries again provided their crane. This time they were suspending a bag of balloons over the pen.
People were chosen at random to enter the pen, and at 6:30 p.m. the ballons were dropped. Balloons were marked with a variety of prizes including gift cards for local area businesses.
The balloon drop was sponsored by Think Local, Shop Stettler.