Christmas season not evident on Keremeos’ main street so far this year

Village could not coordinate Christmas street decorations in time for this year's Keremeos light up parade

Keremeos’ Christmas light up was a little less bright this year.

For the first time in as long as anyone can remember, the village’s Christmas season street decorations were not installed in time for the traditional Christmas kick off this year.

“It takes three groups coming together,” said Chief Administrative Officer Laurie Taylor on the afternoon of December 7. A permit which had to be procured from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is needed to allow Fortis to work on Seventh Avenue to set up the lights in conjunction with village staff.

“Fortis had a few emergencies and we had difficulty pinning down an installation date,” Taylor said, “staff has been working to get the three groups together for several weeks now.”

Taylor added that  it was no single group’s fault, just unfortunate circumstances this year. She said the village is still hoping to get the decorations up before Christmas.

A letter written by Similkameen Country President Joan McMurray, addressed to the village was also distributed to members of the business community just prior to light up on Friday, in which the village’s performance was questioned, further noting that the light up event involved just about every local group in the region.

“Our application (for the parade) was made November 12, McMurray wrote, “Coordination with Fortis BC for the connection by a certified journeyman, when several live in the area, cannot be an insurmountable task?”

In previous years, the village was able to get the decorations up well before light up evening. In 2010 the decorations were installed on November 29, ahead of light up, which took place in December 3 that year. Last year, the lights went up on November 22, well in advance of the December 2 light up evening.

Jeff Wiseman, Penticton area Operations Manager for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, told the Review on December 10 that the ministry was contacted by the Village of Keremeos late last week to inquire about a permit.

“We received an email from the Village of Keremeos last Thursday afternoon,” Wiseman said, “in which the village was applying for permission for their staff to perform traffic control while Fortis did the work.  We sent Keremeos the application, but have not yet received the completed form.”

An issue the village is dealing with, said CAO Taylor, that is delaying their paperwork’s return, is a requirement on the application for a specified time frame in which the work will occur.

“We are still waiting to get a date for the work,” Taylor said, noting that Fortis can only do the work when it has a bucket truck available, and it is unkown exactly when that might be.

Michael Allison, spokeperson for Fortis said that the utility company had been in contact with the village, and remained hopeful the decorations would be installed before Christmas.

“Unfortunately, the scheduling for the truck, which is needed for maintenance and routine work, resulted in it not being available.”

Allison said that Fortis and the village were routinely in contact with each other over business matters.

Acting Mayor Arlene Arlow expressed apologies on behalf of the village late Friday afternoon. She understood the disppointment felt by community members who had put a number of volunteer hours into making the annual light up event a success.

On Friday night, many residents in the village could be heard questioning the absence of what has traditionally been the most visible manifestation of Christmas spirit on Keremeos’ main street as well.

The village’s businesses have been  especially hard hit this year, as the local economy continues to struggle and retailers contend with high property taxes. Local merchants also had to cope with the loss of perennial retailer V and S Variety in the downtown core late summer.

 

Just Posted

Sunniva to sell $125m Ok Falls cannabis production site

Cannabis company says it’s focusing on it U.S. operations

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Heat, sun and a chance of thunderstorms for Father’s Day

Morning pancake breakfasts and fishing derbies across the region will see sun, showers may follow.

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sun and heat continue Saturday

Environment Canada forecasts highs of 30 C throughout the Okanagan Saturday

Penticton massage therapist accused of sexual misconduct

Leonard Krekic filed a court challenge that states chaperone is a detriment to career

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mainly sunny

Environment Canada calling for sun again tomorrow across the Okanagan

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Police seek two suspects and car after stabbing in Kelowna

The stabbing took place on Friday evening on Wilson Avenue. It sent one man to hospital.

Okanagan pitcher tosses second no-hitter of season

Vernon’s Jarod Leroux has two no-nos in his last three starts for the BCPBL’s Okanagan Athletics

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland ready for dry summer conditions

Province has declared Level Two drought, but Summerland has not increased watering restrictions

Summerland pioneers had connection to Middlesex, England

Harry Dunsdon and Richard Turner became cattlemen

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

Most Read