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‘Seeing a comeback’: demand for Christmas parties, markets back to pre-COVID levels in Lethbridge

Demand for holiday parties has returned to pre-COVID levels in Lethbridge this season. Demand for holiday parties has returned to pre-COVID levels in Lethbridge this season.

Whether it’s attending a Christmas party or browsing a holiday-themed market, events this season are seeing a high level of interest.

“This year has been amazing for demand and we have some new Christmas parties,” said Marie Milsom-Galeana, director of sales and marketing with Sky and Table Event Group. “Along with some of our Christmas parties we've had for 10+ years, so it's a great mix of old and new.”

Bookings for Christmas parties are back up to pre-COVID levels with weekends completely full and only a select number of weekdays available throughout December.

Milsom-Galeana is exciting to see the numbers back up, but says challenges still exist.

“Food costs are up as is everything and we've sort of had to modify things and make them work the best we can with ones budget,” she said.

However, the rise in cost hasn’t deterred many, according to Milsom-Galeana.

“I think because a lot of the time Christmas parties were cancelled for many years there might of been some sort of fund there - social fund - that just never got used,” she said. “So, we are definitely seeing a comeback.”

It’s not just parties in high demand, there's been an increased need for local holiday markets.

Domesticated Divas Events is hosting six Christmas-themed events this year, including the Big X-mas and Farmers’ Market at the Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre on Friday and Saturday.

“We were sold out about three months ago for vendors,” said Courtney Samuels, owner of Domesticated Divas. “So, next year we are actually doubling in size for the hall rentals just so we can fit more than 150 vendors in.”

Samuels says the growth has been sparked by many entrepreneurs and homemade businesses hoping to sell their goods in a public space.

“You are supporting a small business. You are helping that mom put her kids through soccer instead of having a CEO making six figures,” Samuels said. “It's all starting at home and all starting with family.”

While some may get caught in the holiday rush, Milsom-Galeana says there's plenty of time to celebrate, even if it isn't after Christmas.

“January is a fantastic time for a party because I always say there's nothing to look forward to in January,” she said. “It's always nice to have something and you can really get a good deal if you're willing to push your party to January.” Top Stories

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