Bringing Edmontonians to the holiday cheer

It’s a bright tradition that hasn’t dimmed for DATS operators or the caregivers and clients who rely on them for some holiday sparkle this time of year. 

“When you see the smiles on the participants’ faces as the bus turns the corner to go down Candy Cane Lane, it’s totally worth it,” said Kristy-Lee Abernethy. 

Abernethy was behind the wheel for a recent ooh-and-aah tour of festive light displays on Candy Cane Lane and the Alberta Legislature grounds.

Also on board was DATS colleague Barbara Feys, who made sure her busload of guests were comfortable. Feys played holiday music and pointed out light displays on houses, parks and landmarks along the route.  

Feys said the real gift is the time together to stop and look at the lights, and not just glance at them going by. 

The riders agreed. 

“They just love the lights and the music on the bus,” said Louise Kiwakin, a caregiver.

“It really puts them at ease.”

DATS (Disabled Adult Transit Service) operators donate their time in the annual tour, which runs on five evenings during the run-up to Christmas. 

Left to right: DATS Operator Barbara Feys, caregivers Louise Kiwakin and Jolanta Lipka, and DATS Operator Kristy-Lee Abernethy