The storefronts are painted with winter scenes and tree decorations are up along Coquitlam's Austin Avenue for the city’s first public party of the holiday season.
More than 10,000 revellers are expected to attend the second annual HollyDaze, a bash on Saturday, Nov. 18, hosted by the Austin Heights Business Improvement Association (BIA) on the southern side of Austin Avenue between Nelson and Marmont streets.
BIA executive director Lisa Landry, who is planning the festivities with Tabitha McLoughlin, said the road will be partially closed from Friday, Nov. 17 at 9 a.m. to Nov. 18 at midnight, and east–west traffic will temporarily flow on the northern side of the road.
The fest, which received a $15,000 Spirit grant from the City of Coquitlam, follows last year's event on Lebleu Street, which drew about 4,000 party-goers.
This year, the holiday gathering is not only in a more central location, it’s also an hour longer.
"We are anticipating a large turnout," Landry told the Tri-City News.
"And we've got something for everyone, from kids to seniors."
Residents will see a number of BIA member businesses open, as well as food trucks, vendors, roving carollers, children’s craft stations and musical entertainment:
- Dos Amigos
- Oh My Gado
- Shameless Buns
- Plant Love
Music (kids’ stage)
- Max the Magician
- Mr. I
Music (main stage)
- ReeVay Music
- Fat Jazz
- Miss Shauna
- Beauty Shop Dolls
The John B Pub will run the beverage tent at the fenced-off festival site and serve beer, mulled wine and spike hot cider while 34 vendors are lined up to sell their wares.
Attendees can capture the holiday spirit by posing for a picture in the photo booth run by Butter Studios and chat with officials from community groups on site:
- Place des Arts
- Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce
- SHARE Family and Community Services
- Asian Arts and Culture Society
- Coquitlam–Maillardville MLA Selina Robinson
- Port Moody–Coquitlam MP Bonita Zarrillo
- Coquitlam RCMP
- Blue Mountain Church
- Coquitlam Public Library
Landry said HollyDaze aims to connect the 269 Austin Heights BIA businesses with Coquitlam residents before the busy winter shopping season starts.
"As a BIA, we want to showcase our commercial area to everyone in Coquitlam," she said.
"We have 240,000 residents in the city and about 70,000 of them live in this area, but most of the big events are in the City Centre. We need a celebration up here, too."
Landry said Austin Heights is booming with new construction, and its shops, amenities and services along a transit route make the area popular — with little vacancy available.
Last month, the BIA installed two gateway signs to welcome commuters to Austin Heights while the John B launched a limited-edition beer called Austin Heights Destination Ale that was created by the pub, Steady Studio and Mariner Brewing.
Landry also said Austin Heights businesses weathered the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to their loyal and longtime customer base.
HollyDaze runs from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023. The event is rain or shine, and there is no cost for entry. Attendees are encouraged to walk, cycle or take public transit. Parking is available at Blue Mountain Church, Blue Mountain Park and side streets.