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Posted on: December 21, 2016

New Year’s Eve family event launches Canada 150

Banff, AB –Iconic downtown Banff Avenue comes alive this New Year’s Eve with street entertainment, music, campfires and songs, mascots, games, activities and food trucks for the family friendly launch of Canada’s sesquicentennial.

The fun begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, December 31. Enjoy family skating, a clown, a magic show, hot chocolate from Tim Horton’s and an earlier, sparkling countdown for tots at the high school rink. Then check out all the action on Banff Avenue, featuring S’mores Galore, Games and More outdoor fun, a fat-tire bike course, street hockey rink, a miniature train ride, a photo booth, fire pits and warming stations throughout.

Parka, the Parks Canada beaver, invites everyone to visit the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site tipi and campfire and sample some bannock at Banff Avenue Square. Warm up under some bison hides and learn about the Canada 150 Voyageur Rendezvous Canoe Race from Rocky Mountain House to The Pas, Manitoba.

Enjoy traditional Filipino dancing and song by the Filipino Organization of the Rocky Mountains, who are performing every half hour throughout the evening. Experience Japanese tea and rice cakes and learn about the exquisite calligraphy with the Bow Valley Japanese Community Association.

The Wardens, a Banff National Park-based trio, sing and tell stories of the wild places, wildlife and wild characters of the land they protected for more than 30 years as park wardens. The Swillbillies rock the block and Safire Dance amaze with blazing fire. The Midnight Tai Ko Japanese drummers beat in the new year, culminating in the annual fireworks show.

You won’t go hungry. Food stations will be offering everything from focaccia to smoked meat sandwiches. Local cafes will be open and for dessert, Discover Banff Tours will be serving up their Maple Snow Taffy.

Presented by the Town of Banff, with partners Parks Canada and Banff and Lake Louise Tourism, the evening runs to midnight and is designed to showcase Banff National Park and the outdoor winter fun available, whatever your age. This is a family friendly event with zero tolerance for alcohol.

Banff Avenue from Buffalo Street to Wolf Street will be closed to traffic from 3 p.m. to approximately 2 a.m. for the event. Traffic will be rerouted to Bear/Lynx Street and Beaver Street.

A cold-weather plan will be announced, should extreme weather be forecasted 24 hours in advance. Follow the Town of Banff on facebook.com/banfftown or @banff_town for updates. For the full schedule of events, check banff.ca/newyears.

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