November 22nd, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 47
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New Christmas look for Gazebo Park
A community effort: locals take charge in decorating Blairmore landmark
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Source: Flickr
Initial photo posted by Lynn Makeiv on social media.
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
In the 50-plus years that Lynn Girardi Makeiv has lived in Crowsnest Pass, she says she doesn’t remember the gazebo in Blairmore ever being decorated decked out to the nines. The Chamber of Commerce had put holiday lights on the gazebo in past years, but not to the extent she and her team plan on doing this year.

Makeiv and the team from Riversdale Resources (Riversdale) are spearheading the initiative to decorate the gazebo with holiday wreaths, a flashy Christmas tree and lights aplenty.

Makeiv had posted a photo on social media at the end of September that picked up a great deal of attention from the public, receiving just under 200 reactions and dozens of comments in support of the project. The photo, which Makeiv found on a “do-it-yourself’ website online, depicted a generously decorated gazebo with a Christmas tree in the center. This serves as the inspiration for the decoration of the Blairmore gazebo.

“I saw the enthusiasm in the community after I posted it and I thought, ‘This would be great.’ I thought it would look so nice on Main Street Blairmore,” Makeiv. “There has been so much enthusiasm from so many local residents and even people from out of town that are asking to post a picture when it’s done. They all want to see the outcome of this.”
From there, Makeiv and Riversdale received the go-ahead from the council and have been accepting donations of decorations from the public.
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FortisAlberta also donated $1,000 towards the initiative and local businesses offered discounts towards the purchase of decorating supplies.

“Bringing Lynn’s vision to life will add such a festive element to a structure that serves not only as a focal point on the main street in Blairmore but also as a community gathering place. To me, the collaboration of community members, organizations and local businesses illustrates our local holiday spirit. This initiative has brought community spirit,” says Claire Rogers, Riversdale community relations manager.

A lot of people have since reached out and donated things like a Christmas tree, wreaths, lights, ornaments and deco mesh.

“I am so impressed. People have been so responsive and excited about the whole initiative. Lynn has done a really great job in bringing people together,” says Rogers.

In an effort to get the children involved in the project, Makeiv and Riversdale have put together little craft bags where kids can create their own ornaments. Each little free gift bag comes with supplies for two different ornaments – a Christmas tree, sleigh or snowman - that kids can craft at home, and then hang on the tree on Decoration Day.

“It’s easy enough for the kids to do, but they can also do their own thing with it. Inside there are popsicle sticks, accessories and gems they can stick on,” says Makeiv.
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Craft bags are available at the Riversdale Resources Ltd. office or at Border Building Materials until all gone.

Everyone is invited to take part in decorating the tree and gazebo, taking place on the morning of Sunday, November 26 at 9 a.m. Riversdale Resources will be providing hot chocolate for volunteers. To give time for the team to put up the lights, kids can come after 11 a.m. to place their ornaments on tree.

The gazebo and tree will be lit for the first time on Friday, December 1 at Christmas in the Mountains.

“I’d like to thank the community for coming together and supporting this. It’s good to see how much kindness and enthusiasm the community has put towards this,” says Makeiv. “It’s such a positive reinforcement for everything.”
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November 22nd, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 47
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