SPCA’s ready for ‘howliday’ fun

Third Annual Holiday Open House on December 19

By DAWN BOOTH, Connect Weekly

santa pup

The Fort McMurray SPCA’s (FMSPCA) third annual Holiday Open House and Family Winterfest Carnival is underway and expected to be a howling good time.

The family-fun, and pooch-friendly, event starts at 1 p.m. to kick-off a long list of winter-themed activities on Saturday, December 19, 2015.

Heated-tents, hay rides, hot chocolate and performances from the Fort McKay Drummers and Dancers are just a few of the many activities scheduled.

Organizers promise if this is a family’s first-time attending, the event is sure to become a holiday tradition.

“This is a real old-fashioned way to kick-off the ‘howlidays’ with the family, including photos with Santa,” said Andryia Browne, owner of Events with Vizability and co-event organizer. “There will be skating and carnival games where every player wins a prize.”

“This is a real old-fashioned way to kick-off the ‘howlidays’ with the family, including photos with Santa,” said Andryia Browne, owner of Events with Vizability and co-event organizer. “There will be skating and carnival games where every player wins a prize.”

With the cost of $5 per person or the family value at $20 – and only $5 a ticket for the games’ portion, it’s an affordable community event for everyone who wants to get outdoors and feel the festive spirit.

Residents are being asked to bring their skates to enjoy the outdoor rink and wear their winter gear to create snow castles at the outdoor stations.

Wrapping up the event with the annual tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m., Executive Director of the Fort McMurray SPCA Tara Clarke said this year’s tree may be the brightest one yet.

“(The) Tree of Light is always very meaningful,” said Clarke of the FMSPCA’s holiday fundraiser. “This community is so generous, and with residents digging even deeper this year during the difficult economic times to support the FMSPCA, our tree is still on track to shine brighter than ever.”

Lights for the tree can be purchased for $10 per bulb or a light strand for $50 each from now, until the day of the event.

The donations from the Tree of Light fundraiser will go towards supporting the FMSPCA’s programs and services, including; humane education for children and youth, the Animal Safe Haven and the Pet Food Bank.

The event is dog-friendly, as long as they have up-to-date vaccinations. However, they are not permitted inside the building. Residents will be able to visit with the sheltered animals and staff will be available to answer any questions on animal adoptions, programs and services. The fun wraps up at 7 p.m.

 – Connect Weekly –