The annual Christmas on the Peninsula festival aims to bring some old-world European traditions – including carolers – to White Rock.

The annual Christmas on the Peninsula festival aims to bring some old-world European traditions – including carolers – to White Rock.

‘Dream Christmas’ planned

Liv Butow aims for European style at annual holiday event

A White Rock woman is once again transforming the city into a festive Christmas village fashioned after her own European upbringing.

On Nov. 26, city streets and shops will undergo a metamorphosis for the third annual Christmas on the Peninsula Festival, under the guidance of Liv Butow.

The festival was the brainchild of Butow, who saw a need for a more traditional Christmas atmosphere in White Rock, like the kind she experienced growing up as a girl guide in Norway.

“We would walk to the city centre with the big Christmas tree and it would not be lit yet, and the mayor would make his big speech and we would all dance and hold hands, walking around the tree,” Butow said.

“I have always loved traditions, and they had these great traditions in Norway with the Christmas trees, carolers and parades. To me, it was the dream Christmas.”

In 2009, after years of pining for her traditional celebration, Butow finally took action in the city, which she says is the perfect backdrop for her Christmas extravaganza.

“White Rock does feel like a village. I know they call it the city by the sea, but to me, it’s more of a village with a view. It lends itself perfectly to an event like this,” Butow said. “I’m passionate about this because I had that as a child and I would love for it to happen in White Rock – a Christmas scene, a la Charles Dickens.”

The festival also provides a boost to store owners who face a business slump when the weather turns cold.

“Eventually we can draw tourists to come and see the festival and the carolers, and then at the same time, they will go and buy their Christmas presents,” she said.

After a year of planning, Butow and her board of directors are now putting the final touches on the festival, which will include three separate locations: the Town Centre Walk-about, the White Rock Community Centre Christmas Market and the Christmas Fair at Miramar Village Plaza.

Butow suggests people start off at the Town Centre, which will include Christmas tree displays at WorldServe Thrift store, art activities at 4Cats Arts Studio, storytelling, gingerbread house decorating and music, from there people can walk to the other locations.

“There is something for everybody. People can go from place to place to place, walking and seeing everything,” Butow said.

Butow’s dedication to her goal of having a perfect Christmas village has paid off and, for the first time since its inception, the event has a full organizing committee, with people already signing up for the following year.

Despite the growing interest and the possible expansion of the festival, Butow said she is determined to make sure the event is organized properly, with attention paid to every detail.

“People may wonder why we’re not moving faster and faster and getting bigger and bigger right away. But we need to get the grounding right first. We need to ensure that we have an organizing committee properly in place, with everyone knowing what they’re doing, to ensure a good quality experience,” she said.

“We will go slowly and get it just right – we’re not rushing into anything.”

Activities begin at 9 a.m., for a full list of events and times go to http://christmasonthepeninsula.com/schedule-of-events/

 

 

Just Posted

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
Fraser Health adds 4 first-come-first-serve vaccination clinics to Surrey

First 1,000 people to show up to receive vaccine

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigating after man found dead in South Surrey following a wellness check

IIO says officers ‘reportedly spoke to a man at the home before departing’

Surrey RCMP in the 4900-block of 148th Street, a short road just off of King George Boulevard, on May 15, 2021 after a male was allegedly assaulted with a “pipe-like” weapon that morning. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey RCMP investigating after person reportedly injured with ‘pipe-like’ weapon

Police investigating incident in the 4900-block of 148th Street

The leadership team at Johnston Heights Secondary is looking to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society through the Relay for Life, planned as an online and in-person event (following COVID-19 restrictions) for the week of June 1 to 7.
Pushed back a year, Surrey students well on their way to Relay for Life fundraising goal

Johnston Heights Leadership Team aims to raise $6,500 for Canadian Cancer Society

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his ‘Community Connections’ videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Gwenne Farrell

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

B.C. Wildfire Services shows a fire on Chehalis Forest Service Road as of Sunday, May 16, 2021. (BC Fire Services)
Wildfire near Harrison Mills grows to 3 hectares, BC Fire Service on site

Resident near wildfire: ‘I pray that the Creator brings rain as soon as possible’

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of May 16

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Most Read