New Traditions at Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark

Pattern Canada Stories

Written By: Pattern Stories

A new tradition is starting to take hold at the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark.

Created in 2020 in response to pandemic restrictions during the holiday season, Sleddin’ Santa is a month-long event that aims to bring some holiday cheer to the residents of Tumbler Ridge.

“This all started last year, and it seemed a shame to let the season pass by without any of the traditional holiday community activities, which are impossible to do during a pandemic. Last year, you couldn’t sit on Santa’s lap, spend the day in the mall shopping, or share baked treats with friends and coworkers. So, we brought Santa safely to Tumbler Ridge and the kids all received a treat from Santa thanks to Meikle Wind,” explains Jenna McQueen, Program Coordinator at the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark.

Sleddin’ Santa in his Polaris sled in 2020.

Bigger and Better

Jenna says that Santa drove his brightly lit Polaris sled throughout the Geopark last year, and he’ll be doing it again this year.

“We want our community to look forward to the annual return of Sleddin’ Santa, and the only way to do this is to make it bigger and better each year. Our goal for this year is to ensure that all children receive a gift from Santa,” Jenna explains.

They’re making this year’s event bigger and better thanks to some partners and sponsors.

“We’re teaming up with the District of Tumbler Ridge and Backcountry Bandit to host and help organize the event. We will have the Fire Department lighting up Santa’s route with their decorated Christmas fire trucks and in the passenger seats will be the Mayor and Council. Meikle Wind and our other top sponsors are making sure that every child receives a present,” says Jenna.

Sleddin’ Santa’s 2021 route for his cruise around the Tumbler Ridge Geopark.

Fun for Everyone

While Santa’s cruise will be taking place on December 20th, residents of Tumbler Ridge are being treated to more holiday festivities.

For the twelve days leading up to Santa’s arrival, residents can enter a contest every day for a chance to win some prizes provided by local businesses.

The Geopark kicked off the festivities on December 1st at the Western Steakhouse, where guests enjoyed Christmas light displays, a sneak peek at Sleddin’ Santa’s new Polaris sled, hot chocolate, cookies, and dinner specials.

Christmas at the Geopark

Sleddin’ Santa is one of the Geopark’s big upcoming events, but they’ve been busy participating in some other holiday activities as well.

On November 26th, the Geopark participated in Plaid Friday.

“The name Plaid Friday is based on the idea of weaving the individual threads of small businesses together to create a strong fabric that celebrates the diversity and creativity of independent businesses,” explains the Geopark’s Facebook page.

The concept was created by the Love Tumbler Ridge Program which supports the area’s locally-owned businesses.

The Geopark is also providing three craft kits for kids to enjoy. Their first craft was a reindeer hot chocolate kit, with two more being released in the days leading up to Christmas.

To learn more about Sleddin’ Santa and to follow his cruise on December 20th, you can visit their website here: https://www.santainthegeopark.com. Connect with the Global Geopark year-round by following them on Facebook. Click here to go to their page.

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