Alight at Night lights up Friday, November 30

Historic Upper Canada Village will once again be aglow for the holiday season starting this Friday night, November 30, when the switch is thrown to turn on close to one million festive lights.

Now in its 12th year, The Alight at Night festival at Upper Canada Village is one of Ontario’s premiere winter events.  

This year the festival will operate on select nights from Friday, November 30, through Saturday, January 5, 2013. 

“Alight at Night, Eastern Ontario’s largest outdoor light festival is now in its 12th year and still ranks number one with families as an annual tradition,” says Darren Dalgleish, General Manager/CEO of the St. Lawrence Parks Commission. “I recall my first family visit as being overwhelmed with the peace and tranquility of this event, its pure beauty and simplicity in the rural setting – I’m so pleased we’ve maintained that spirit.”   

“This year we have added even more decorative lights getting us very near that spectacular one million mark,” says Dalgleish. “We’ve also added a new seasonal display at Crysler Hall that is both charming and fun.”

  “As a community leader, it is also important to keep our festival priced ‘family friendly’.  That’s why admission rates remain the same as last year, continuing as well with all-inclusive pricing which combines festival admission, train and wagon rides. This offers guests great value and helps accelerate entry into the site.”

“I hope local residents will invite out of town family and friends to Alight at Night this year – it’s an event all of our partnering communities should be very proud of.”

Alight at Night has become a true family tradition. To celebrate this, Crysler Hall will set the stage for an all-new Visions of a Victorian Christmas exhibit, where visitors will get an elaborate glimpse into the origins of some of the popular traditions associated with the season today.  

Visitors are invited to drop in to marvel at beautifully animated 19th century tableaus of the traditional family Christmas dinner, church carollers, and delightful Dickens characters, all within the walls of this majestic mansion.

The Sound & Light Show featuring seasonal music, accompanied by dancing lights, will be offered with shows playing every half hour on the grounds around Crysler Hall.  

The Gingerbread Competition previously held inside Crysler Hall will not run in 2012.

Carolling will take place in Christ Church from 5-9 p.m. on Friday through Sunday evenings, November 30 to December 23, and then nightly December 26 to January 1; Friday, January 4 and Saturday, January 5. 

Christmas Carol song books are provided in the church and visitors are encouraged to sing along or just soak up the holiday ambience.  Carolling is made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of local businesses.

Romantic carriage rides for two are available in the Village’s Pommier Carriages, an ideal way to make engagements, anniversaries, or your visit extra-special!  Advance reservation is required and can be made  by calling 1-800-437-2233 or locally 613-543-4328 to make a reservation.

Visitors can stay warm by stopping in at the Bakery to savour the smell of fresh bread and cinnamon rolls baking or by visiting one of several Quick stops at Kettle Corner, The Pantry, the new Chip Truck or at Cook’s Tavern.

Full service dining is offered at Willard’s Hotel or cafeteria style at the Harvest Barn.  Both restaurants will be serving up turkey dinners with all the fixings and other menu options.

Streamlined pricing continues for the event and for one price – Adults (13 years plus) $13; Seniors (65 years plus) $10; Youth (6-12 years) $10; Children 5 years and under free – you get a comprehensive experience that includes entry to the festival, horse-drawn wagon rides and a ride on the Moccasin, Upper Canada Village’s toy train.  

Advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended to speed entry into the festival.  

Visit the website www.AlightatNight.ca to purchase tickets. 

The Alight at Night Festival has many partners and sponsors who provide support to various parts of the festival.  This year’s festival sponsors include: BMO Financial Group – Toy Train, ‘The Moccasin’; Pommier Jewellers – sponsor of the Pommier Carriages; Cornwall Hotel Partners – providing marketing support; Ramada Inn; Best Western Parkway Inn; Comfort Inn; McIntosh Country Inn, Morrisburg; Cornwall & the Counties Tourism – providing marketing support; The Great Waterway South Eastern Ontario.

Alight at Night has helped turn the Cornwall & Seaway Valley region into an overnight tourist destination in what has traditionally been considered a non-tourism season for this part of Eastern Ontario.  Overnight packages are offered through local hotel partners with links on the festival website AlightatNight.ca.

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