Skip to main content

Downtown businesses welcome the holiday and Christmas shoppers


The lights are on after the Downtown Holiday Light Up on Rice Howard Way.

The annual holiday event was moved from Churchill Square this year, something the Downtown Business Association (DBA) has said is to increase foot traffic for local businesses in the area that have been hurt over the last two years by the pandemic.

“So great to have those extra people around. People are excited. They come downtown. So this event is amazing,” said Elisa Zenari of Dalla Tavola Zenari. “We couldn't have asked for a better event.”

The city and the DBA received public backlash after the changes were announced in November, including the lack of a giant Christmas tree, which has been a Churchill staple in past years.

Those who attended said the changes didn’t dampen their Christmas spirit.

“It’s awesome,” one woman told CTV News Edmonton. “It’s a really great way to get the community together, get outside, see what’s outside in Edmonton when it’s cold out here. So a wonderful experience so far.”

“As Edmontonians, if we want to have an amazing downtown we all have to put in our effort to make it that way. It’s a group effort,” said another.

“There’s so much joy in exploring local businesses, local makers…just being together with friends and family. So that’s the kind of stuff we’re featuring here,” said Puneeta McBryan of the DBA.

The move is one of several initiatives the DBA is taking to try and support local downtown businesses.

The organization unveiled two alleyways earlier this week to try and attract more visitors to the core, with murals and improved lighting.

A Downtown Shop Local gift card promotion was also launched, with the first 800 gift cards bought online getting an extra $25 gift card from the DBA.

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jessica Robb. Top Stories

Stay Connected