'An atmospheric gift': Celebrating the start of a new decade

Edmonton’s weather forecast for New Year’s Eve is expected to be positively balmy, says Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips.

A look at what to do on New Year’s Eve in the Edmonton region

Fireworks at 9 p.m. are planned for Edmonton's New Year's Eve celebrations. (Rick Bremness/CBC)

Edmonton's weather forecast for New Year's Eve is expected to be positively balmy.

"This is not parka and balaclava weather," says Environment Canada senior climatologist Dave Phillips. 

The normal high at this time of the year would be around -7 C. Phillips says records indicate the coldest New Year's Eve was -38 C in 1992. 

On Tuesday, temperatures will be above the freezing mark, around 4 C or 5 C with sunshine during the daytime. 

"As people go out to celebrate ... in the dark hours, temperatures are going to fall to -1 C or -2 C instead of -18 C," he says. "You could call it an atmospheric gift in a way."

A small disturbance on the horizon could bring a bit of precipitation in the form of flurries or showers, says Phillips. But he doesn't expect it to arrive in Edmonton until after midnight, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the evening's festivities. 

The City of Edmonton is hosting the downtown festival again this year, at the Alberta Legislature. There will be family-friendly programming from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., capped off with a fireworks display. 

Local artists Jenesia, The Tsunami Brothers and Tyler Shaw will perform on the main stage. 

"We also have lots of activities for kids and families like crafts and light shows, so we're really excited for Edmontonians to come down and celebrate ringing in 2020," says Julie Stormer, supervisor of festivals and events with the city. 

There will be road closures and parking is limited. But free bus, LRT and DATS service begins at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31. 

St. Albert has a fireworks display beginning at 8:30 p.m. at Mission Park.

Stony Plain is hosting Family Fest from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. There will be live entertainment, kids games, outdoor skating, wagon rides and fireworks. 

The event is open to all ages — just bring a non-perishable food item as a donation to the Parkland Food Bank. 

Strathcona County is celebrating with a New Year's Festival from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Broadmoor Lake Park, Community Centre Agora, Festival Place and the Sherwood Park Arena and Sports Centre. 

There will be snowshoeing, shinny hockey, remote control bobsled races, free wagon rides, LED and fire dancer shows, hula dancers, mechanical surfing, glow- and tropical-themed crafts, skating and more. 

The festival wraps up with fireworks at 8 p.m. at Broadmoor Lake Park. 

If you're not tuckered out the next day, Strathcona Wilderness Centre is offering a variety of winter activities on Jan. 1. 

Other ways to celebrate 

If you're looking for alternative ways to ring in the new year, there are plenty of options across the city on Dec. 31. 

The Edmonton Oilers play the New York Rangers at 7 p.m. at Rogers Place. 

As is tradition, McDougall Church will be open for a free evening of music and entertainment. This year's event features Back Porch Swing, Audrey Ochoa Trio, Dana Wylie Band and other artists. 

Bring a non-perishable food item or donation for the Edmonton Food Bank. 

On New Year's Day, Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell. is hosting the annual levee at Government House

Visitors will also be able to meet senior members of the Canadian Forces, RCMP and Edmonton Police Service. The event runs from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.