North Pole Stroll is Downtown Red Deer's annual Christmas marketing campaign. Originally launched as a one-day event, it has grown into a month-long celebration of the holiday season.
Red Deer Lights the Night
Red Deer Lights the Night is Red Deer's annual kick off to the holiday season. Presented by Stantec and hosted by The City of Red Deer, Red Deer Public Library and the Downtown Business Association, this family friendly festival is held at City Hall Park and Ross Street. Features include free popcorn and hot chocolate, a winter market featuring local artisan vendors, a warming tent, live entertainment, and plenty of games and activities for the kids. The highlight of the evening is the lighting of City Hall Park and Red Deer's Christmas Holiday Tree.
The Christmas Pickle
A pickle used as a Christmas decoration may seem odd at first, but it's an old tradition. When decorating the tree, the pickle is hung last, hidden amoung the branches. The first person on Christmas morning to find the Christmas Pickle receives a special blessing for the year and an extra gift!
As part of North Pole Stroll, many Downtown Red Deer businesses hide pickles in their stores. Customers lucky enough to spot them are eligible to win a prize from that business, such as a discount or raffle entries.
Shop Downtown is a radio contest that runs from the first business day after Red Deer Lights the Night through the last shopping day before Christmas. A partnership with Kraze 101.3, the contest offers a daily opportunity on the station to win $100 to spend at a Downtown business. A different business is featured each day. Twenty-six businesses participated in 2017 by donating a $50 gift card. The DBA matched each donation by purchasing a $50 gift card from each participant to make up the $100 prize.
Late Night Shopping
For one night many Downtown businesses remain open until 8 p.m. or later to help Red Deerians with their Christmas shopping and to encourage the support of local businesses. Most participants have special offers and many serve up hot drinks or holiday treats, so it’s a great time to enjoy some Christmas cheer.