Ah it’s that time of year again. Fat dudes with white beards find employment easily; people give each other presents that they really wanted for themselves. Yes indeed it is Christmas time in Banff. North Americans take this holiday pretty seriously and Banff takes that to a whole new extreme. Christmas lights adorn the streets lighting it in a romantic and soft hue. Neon Santa’s and Christmas trees hang from the roof of Wild Bills and the Rose and Crown at the centre of Banff. There is something magical in the sub zero temperature air.
On Saturday a parade of all things Banff and proud made its way down Banff Avenue as a huge crowd of revelers and families watched. A float from the YHA Hostel cruised down on a bunk bed while singing karaoke. Giant (fake) bears waved at terrified children and music blasted from all sides. If you weren’t in the Christmas spirit before seeing a sight like this, then you would most certainly be after. Earlier in the day, a choir sang in the Cascade mall as children sat on Santa’s lap and got their faces painted.
It is a strange old place Banff. It is a town of many contrasts. It is completely welcoming to tourists and catered for tourists too but it also has a very local and family friendly feel about it. The community takes care of each other. It has a killer nightlife but also activities during the day which can’t be beaten. All the towns of the Canadian Rockies have a delightful quirk to them but Banff has a lot. At no time of year does its diversity come out more than around Christmas.