The Christmas festivities kick off in the Royal City in a big way this weekend with the Santa Claus Parade of Lights, a tree lighting celebration and pet photos with the jolly old elf himself.
If you're looking for something a little less festive, we've included a charity hockey game, a poetry gathering and children's event in the Top Five (or More) Things to Do This Weekend in New Westminster. Here are The Record staff's suggestions for the weekend of Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.
1 Check out the action on the ice when the New Westminster firefighters take on the Canucks alumni in the 2012 Hydrant Cup charity hockey game.
The players will hit the ice at Queen's Park Arena at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 30, but there's lots of entertainment before and during the game including an outdoor barbecue, a Frisbee toss, music by the New Westminster Secondary School jazz band, a visit from Sparky the fire dog and Fin the Canucks mascot, raffle and door prizes.
The New Westminster Firefighters Charitable Society is hosting the seventh Hydrant Cup, which raises funds for Queen's Park Care Centre and the charitable society (which donates to a wide range of local causes).
Tickets are $10 for a family of four (two adults and two children) or $5 for an individual ticket, and are available at Queen's Park Arena.
2 Get into the festive spirit and enjoy the CIBC Parade of Lights, which takes place in downtown New Westminster starting at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Fourth and Columbia streets. Children are encouraged to bring their letters to Santa and give them to Canada Post elves along the route (The mailing address is: Santa Claus, North Pole, HOH OHO). Donations are also being collected for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society.
3 Soak up the holiday spirit at the tree lighting ceremony that takes place in Hyack Square on Saturday, Dec. 1 - immediately after the Santa Claus Parade ends.
This year's tree-lighting festivities include food vendors, a photo booth where people can have their pictures taken with Santa, and entertainment by the likes of Canadian award-winning country artist AJ Woodworth - and even entertainment by fire performers.
For more information, visit www.hyack.bc.ca.
4 Learn about the white sturgeon at Sturgeon Tales and have a blast at the same time. Fraser River Discovery Centre is giving kids a chance to learn about the white sturgeon through a sturgeon tagging station, felt storyboard, and sturgeon craft.
The fun takes place on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fraser River Discovery Centre, 788 Quayside Dr.
5 Discover the poetry talent that abounds in New Westminster, when the Royal City Literary Arts Society presents Silver Bow's book launch of Royal City Poets Anthology 2012.
The event takes place on Sunday, Dec. 1 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Heritage Grill Backroom, 447 Columbia St.
The book offers poetry by New Westminster poets - as well as poets who have performed at literary events in the city. Poetic Justice's event will follow, running from 3 to 5 p.m. in the same location and featuring poets Ruth Kozak, Jude Neale and Sylvia Taylor.
6 Introduce your pet to Santa when he visits Van Pet at Royal Square mall.
You can visit with Santa and the elves and get a photo of your pet on Saturday, Dec. 1 and Sunday, Dec. 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A suggested donation of $10 is recommended, with all proceeds going toward the Royal City Humane Society. Royal Square is located at Eighth Street and McBride Boulevard. For more information, call 604524-8933.
Email your Top 5 ideas to calendar@royalcityrecord. com. You can also check out our full arts and events calendar listings on our website's homepage at www.royalcityre cord.com.