The beauty of Christmas came alive at Upper Canada Village, Friday night, as the St. Lawrence Parks Commission opened its new gates in its new Discovery Centre to the 11th annual Alight at Night Festival.
Now recognized as one of the Top 100 events in Ontario by Festivals and Events, Ontario, Alight at Night has grown again with close to 1 million lights now lighting up the Eastern Ontario evening sky.
Visitors were welcomed to the official opening at Crysler Hall by Ron Eamer, Acting Chair of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, who claimed that snow has been ordered and is on its way.
“We owe a great amount of thanks to the staff,” said Eamer. “Their enthusiasm is what carries it off. This year, they have put up almost 1 million lights.”
Director of Marketing, Bryan Mercer highlighted the various additions to this year’s festival. They include new state-of-the-art LED wall washer lighting that sets the historic buildings aglow in colour, a new and convenient outdoor food court and more streamlined pricing to alleviate lineups and speed entry to the Village.
For one price, visitors now get admission to the festival, including a wagon and train ride.
Admission is $13 for adults (13 years plus), $10 for seniors (65 years plus) and $10 for youth (six to 12 years). Children five years of age and under will be admitted free. All admissions are subject to tax.
Returning to this year’s Alight at Night Festival is the very popular Sound and Light Spectacular which runs every half hour outside Crysler Hall. This year’s show is sponsored by Cruickshank Construction.
The third running of the Annual Canadian Gingerbread Competition was judged this past Saturday and the entries are on display at Crysler Hall and the carolling at nearby Christ Church has been expanded.
Mercer pointed out that the festival opened a few days later (than in the past) on Friday, December 2 but will operate through to January 7 this year.
Alight at Night is now open Thursday to Sunday until December 18 (closed Mondays to Wednesdays). From December 19 to January 7 it will be open nightly except for its closure on December 24 and 25.
“It’s our 11th year and Alight at Night has become the signature event for Eastern Ontario,” said Mercer. “It keeps growing and growing and getting better. Anyone who has been involved in it should congratulate yourself.”