Santa Claus is coming to town, and he's bringing a boatload of delicious breakfast foods with him. Mountain FM and the Westin have been teaming up for the past 12 years to put on the Whistler Christmas Breakfast, where hundreds of hungry early risers can feast on an all-you-can-eat buffet and give back to the community while they're at it.
"It's a great place to catch up with friends, have an amazing breakfast, donate to the local food banks and help others," said Mountain FM's operations manager Joe Polito. "For those that don't want to get up early, you're missing out."
Entry is free with a non-perishable food item, a new toy or a cash donation, granting you access to Executive Chef Brad Cumming's epic breakfast spread. And I do mean epic.
"It is amazing how much gets eaten," said Cumming, who will dish out a whopping 350 pounds of bacon, 2,000 pancakes, 3,500 whole eggs and 400 pounds of potatoes over the course of three hours.
The hotel donates its time and staff to the event — not to mention enough grub to feed a small army — at a time of year when everyone is thinking about those in need. Over $7,000 in cash and hundreds of pounds in canned goods and toys were raised at last year's event for the Whistler and Pemberton food banks. Goods are also donated to the Mount Currie community.
"Whistler can be a challenging town to live in, but everyone deserves a break at the holidays," Cumming said.
Jolly ol' St. Nick will also be making an appearance, and Polito recommends "coming armed with your phone fully charged" to snap a shot with the big guy in red. Over the years, Polito said the event has evolved into more than just a breakfast, but offers a chance for the community to take a step back from the busy holiday season and connect with fellow Whistlerites.
"It's just such a happy place," he said. "Everyone's in the spirit, everyone seems to know each other and it's a chance to catch up before you go skiing or head off to school. It's a really great, giving atmosphere."
The community's charitable spirit — particularly around Christmas time — never ceases to amaze Polito.
"We've all seen it recently with a lot of fundraisers for different people. It's incredible," he said. "We're such a small town and we talk about how expensive it is for a lot of us to live here, but it doesn't seem to hamper any of the fundraising efforts for people in need."
Mountain FM's annual Christmas Breakfast runs from 6 to 9 a.m. at the Westin on Friday, Dec. 4. The hotel will offer free parking underground to attendees during the event.