COURTENAY'S DOWNTOWN WILL come alive with the spirit of Christmas starting this Friday.

COURTENAY'S DOWNTOWN WILL come alive with the spirit of Christmas starting this Friday.

Downtown Courtenay comes alive

Downtown Courtenay is the place to be this holiday season with five weekends of fun-filled celebration for all ages.

Downtown Courtenay is the place to be this holiday season with five weekends of fun-filled celebration for all ages.

From choir and theatre performances and free kids arts and crafts to special dining events, shopping specials, music nights, walking tours, art exhibits, charity drives and craft fairs — there is goodwill, cheer and fun for everyone at downtown Courtenay WinterFest.

Things kick off this Friday night with the annual Moonlight and Magic Celebration featuring magic, lights, fire and phenomenal specials that are here — and then they’re gone! The streets will be alive with special events, live music, Christmas shopping sales, kids craft activities and much more.

At 6 p.m., don’t miss the tree lighting, choir performances and the live fire dancing spectacle with VestaFire Entertainment at Fifth and England.

This is an encore performance from this acclaimed troupe of circus performers who appeared at last year’s Moonlight and Magic event and at Elevate the Arts this past June. Their show is spell binding and exciting and a great way to energize the night!

Just across the street the WinterFest Hub will offer facepainting, Magic Wand crafts with Elevate the Arts and Four Frames Photo Booth from 4 till 8 p.m. These free activities are open for all ages.

If you’re looking for more music after, you take in all the great sales on Friday evening you can stop by Zocalo Cafe at 7 for an amazing show with renowned jazz guitarist Tony Wilson, head up to the Union Street Grotto for stellar songbird Renée Forrester or slide by Billy D’s for the Friday Night Lounge with the Jilli Martini Band!

Moonlight and Magic is also the kickoff for the annual Walk the Windows event. Explore the beautiful seasonal window displays throughout downtown and vote for your favourite.

Entry forms are available at all participating businesses and winners receive a shopping spree downtown. Kids can keep their eyes peeled for the little penguins in some of the window displays and enter to win, too.

Downtown fun continues Saturday with the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market from 9 to noon and special musical guest Luke Blu Guthrie. Just up the street, the WinterFest Hub at Fifth and England is bustling with activity every Saturday. Drop in for arts and crafts with Restless Raven Art Lab from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m.

Saturday afternoon is also the first in a series of all ages free community concerts at the WinterFest Hub at 2 with touring artist JP Hoe!

This acclaimed Winnipeg-based singer/songwriter crafts songs that burn with an intimate intensity. The six-time Western Canadian Music Award-nominated artist has a tremendous gift for writing songs would sound as good stripped down around a campfire as they would in a soft-seat theatre with a full orchestra.

Accompanied with the wonderful Natanielle Felicitas on cello, JP Hoe is a show for all ages not to be missed!

Saturday evening there are some great musical options including the Black Swan Fiddlers at Zocalo at 7 pm, or Drag on Fire! At the Bridge Lounge with the Velvet Underground and their favourite drag queens at 7:30, or Matthew Good at the Sid Williams Theatre.

Then on Sunday afternoon, downtown hosts the Comox Valley Christmas Parade at 2.

For a detailed events schedule, go to www.downtowncourtenay.com or become a fan of downtown Courtenay WinterFest on Facebook. Check back often, as new events and activities are being added every day.

Downtown Courtenay WinterFest is a project of the Downtown Courtenay BIA and their community partners.

— Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association

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