AMHERST - Santa Claus and his elves aren't the only ones preparing for Christmas.
"Town crews have been working on preparations for the Christmas Light-Up since Remembrance Day trying to get things together," said Andrew MacGregor, Arts, Culture and Heritage coordinator for the Town of Amherst. "So it's quite a major undertaking, and it certainly makes the town look more festive."
The 10th Annual Amherst Christmas Light-Up is tonight at 7 p.m. at Victoria Square in Amherst, and one of the people in the crowd watching the light up will be Town of Amherst Public Works employee Chucky Miller.
It's Miller's second year setting up lights for the Christmas Light Up.
"It's a cold job but it's a lot of fun, so I hope to be on light-up duty for year's to come," said Miller.
Town councillor Terry Rhindress said Public works deserves a pat on the back.
"They did a great job here and I hope it helps everybody get into the Christmas spirit," said Rhindress.
This is the second year the Christmas Light-Up will occur at the newly renovated Victoria Square.
"There will be more lights than last year because we were able to do some different things in terms of getting trucks in," said MacGregor. "Last year it (Victoria Square) was finished two weeks before the event and there were some limitations to what we could do and couldn't do."
The light up is one of the most popular events on the Amherst calendar, and Rhindress encourages everybody to come out for the festivities.
"After the light up here at the park people can go to the church and sing songs, and then go to Dayle's and watch a choir," said Rhindress. "It's unbelievable what Dayle's does to their department store. It's beautiful."
Today is also Black Friday, which is a good time for people to shop for bargains.
"It's Christmastime and I hope everybody will stay and shop here in Amherst because there's going to be a lot of good sales," said Rhindress.
Before the light up, the Sackville Citizens Band will provide live music beginning at 6:40 p.m.
Also, Victoria Square will host a Nova Scotia Power and Conserve Nova Scotia LED Light Exchange beginning at 5:30 p.m., whereby people can exchange old Christmas lights for LED Christmas lights, which are safer and more energy efficient.
After mayor Robert Small flicks the switch to light up Victoria Square, the celebration will move to the First Baptist Church where the Amherst Regional High School Band will accompany choirs. Everyone is welcome to join in and sing along to the music.
The festivities then move to Dayle's Department Store for their own light up, followed by readings singing and more music by the Sackville Citizens Band.
The festivities are at no cost to the public.
The Amherst Christmas Parade is Saturday night.
The theme of this year's parade is ‘A Storybook Christmas' and it begins at 6 p.m.
MacGregor reminds people that the parade trophy presentations following Saturday nights parade will be at the new Town Hall on Victoria Street.