A bus tour in Swift Current for seniors to enjoy the Christmas lights in the community continues to increase in popularity.
The 3rd annual Swift Current Rotary Club seniors lights tour took place on two consecutive evenings, Dec. 10 and 11.
“The response from the seniors has grown every year,” Rotary Club member Don Koch said. “Even over last year we got a tremendous growth, more participation. So it’s accomplishing what we wanted, to provide some Christmas entertainment for seniors that don’t really get a chance to get out.”
A total of 97 people participated in this year’s event, with 43 seniors on Dec. 10 and 54 on Dec. 11. The total attendance for last year’s two-night tour was 74, which was almost double the number of participants for the inaugural event in 2017.
The event provided a convenient way for seniors to see the Christmas lights displayed around the city. The Swift Transit buses transported them on a trip of just over an hour to look at Christmas lights in the downtown and different neighbourhoods.
Afterwards they went to Cypress House to enjoy refreshments and live musical entertainment, and to sing Christmas carols. The buses then took tour participants back to their original pick-up locations.
Tour participants included residents from various retirement homes in the city as well as seniors living in their own homes.
“We have people that join us that live in 55-plus condo buildings and even some couples that have houses instead,” he said. “So it wasn’t just restricted to people from retirement homes.”
The Swift Current Rotary Club sponsored the cost of the bus trips and the City of Swift Current made two buses available on each night at a very reasonable rate.
“They’re so happy to help where they can,” Koch said about the City’s support. “I wasn’t certain the first year what their response would be, but right from the get go they were really happy to pitch in and help.”
The Rotary Club also received support from retirement homes to make the two evenings a success. Cypress House provided the venue, while refreshments for tour participants were provided by Riverview Village Estates and The Bentley.
Koch previously lived in Red Deer, where similar tours take place at Christmas, and he felt it will be a good idea to do it in Swift Current.
“In Red Deer we ran 12 busses a night, five nights one week doing the same thing with the Kinsmen Club,” he said. “When I came here, I found that they weren’t doing this. So I thought we should try it.”