The merchants of Willoughby Town Centre are spreading that warm feeling of Christmas with a community celebration that helps the Gateway of Hope.
As part of the 12 Dayz of Christmas on Dec. 12, the merchants have lined up entertainment, activities, treats and more, and are inviting the public to take part in a coat drive and food drive.
“It’s just a nice community event,” said Nicky Kruger, one of the organizers. “People don’t have to pay to participate. It’s to bring people together.”
The 12 Dayz of Christmas celebration runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the new development at 208th Street and 80th Avenue.
The day features performances by local singer Karen Lee Batten at 1 p.m. as well as local choirs, the Langley International Music School at 2 p.m., a DJ all day, a wreath making workshop and a fashion show by Vanilla Clothing.
As well there’s horse and carriage rides, photos with Santa and a themed petting zoo. Kids can do crafts or have their faces painted.
People are asked to bring new and gently used coats and winterwear for the coat drive. All sizes are welcome.
There’s also a food drive and people can drop off non-perishable food donations.
“It’s a final push to make sure that people can be warm this winter and have food in their tummies,” she said.
The shopping centre hosts two big community events during the year since it was constructed a few years ago. The previous Christmas event attracted about 1,000 people with the summer celebration a few months ago bringing together more than that.