WinterStart festival update The countdown is on with under a week to go until the opening day of the Hongkong Bank Whistler WinterStart Festival, which takes place from Dec. 4 to 13. Firstly, festival organizers report that they would like to thank all the volunteers who have signed up to help. All positions have been filled, apart from gatekeepers and side slippers for the Nokia World Cup snowboard super G and snowboard-cross events on Dec. 10 and 13. It’s expert slippers only for the slide-slipping positions because you’ll be required to do a high speed slip, not a flop. If you’re interested call the volunteer hotline at 905-3038. A late addition to the first day of fun will see the Whistler Classic Awards presented at the opening ceremonies on Friday, Dec. 4. The awards, introduced last year, recognize local residents for their outstanding service to the community. Do you think you qualify? There’s four of them up on offer. The opening ceremonies will also include the People’s Parade, the traditional bib draw, A Taste of Whistler and a performance by the Whistler Children’s Choir. This year’s medals for the alpine World Cup ski races will again be designed by Haida artist Clarence Mills. The medals, cast in bronze and then plated, depict aspects of B.C.’s natural beauty as interpreted by Mills. Another detail that has recently been finalized is the inclusion of a Kids Zone, open on both weekends of the festival. The Whistler Food and Beverage Association has stepped forward to make this possible. Located in Mountain Square, the Kids Zone will allow children to enjoy a wide variety of activities, games and toys as well as the fun staples of face painting and snowman building. Alpenglow ’98, a mega-party and fund-raiser for local causes in the new Roundhouse Lodge, is getting even more fun by the minute, with the addition of Wild Willies traditional World Cup Fashion Show. The show has been going on for the last seven years and has developed a reputation for getting the crowd going as local dancers and models strut their funky stuff. Sue Ross is presently putting 20 locals through their paces for the fashion show that has been referred to as "risqué" and "legendary" in the same breath. Alpenglow takes place Dec. 5. Tickets are available through Whistler/Blackcomb Guest Relations for $40 each. Dress for WinterStart success Be a WinterStart WinterStar and dress your business up for the season. The Whistler guru of location transformation, Linda Marshall, has designed a package to make your business beam with seasonal festive spirit. The theme this year is "Let it Snow" and the decor kit, touted as easy-to-use, contains window decorations for shops, hotel lobbies, business entrances, restaurants and bars. Twinkle lights are available to enhance your silver white sparkle and if you need assistance with your decorating the dab hand of professional help is nearby. All kits will be delivered by Thursday, Dec. 3 before the start of the festival, on a first come first served basis. The packages include re-usable decorations so it’s not a one off winter wonder. They include a festival poster, a "Whistler Welcomes the World" poster, snowflake wire, six packages of snowflakes and silver glitter, 25 packages of tissue snowflakes, another four packages of big snowflakes, a long white fold out garland, snowflake confetti with village sprinkles and latex snowflake printed balloons. All packages are $53.50 with tax and you can get one by calling Marshall Arts Inc. at (604) 932-4672.