Plenty of accolades and warm weather certainly helped Alight at Night attract the largest crowds ever in this its 15th season.
Last year was a record breaking season for the increasingly popular winter attraction, and this year topped that with attendance of 46,400. That’s 6,900 more visitors than last year, setting new attendance records for most visitors in a night (5,600) and most visitors in a season.
Susan LeClair, manager of customer service and corporate communications at the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, credited the recognition that Alight at Night had been receiving with some of the event’s increasing popularity.
“Alight at Night was recognized by the Huffington Post Canada as one of ‘12 breathtaking sights to see in a Canadian winter,’ by the Globe and Mail as one of the ‘Ten reasons to stay in Canada for your winter vacation,’ by Canada AM’s Travel Expert Loren Christie as one of his suggestions for ‘Getting in the Christmas spirit across the country’ and by Ottawa Life Magazine as one of Ottawa’s ‘Top 10 Activities to Get You into the Holiday Spirit’. I think all of these accolades certainly helped,” she said.
“In speaking with visitors, we hear over and over again how Alight at Night is part of their holiday traditions,” she said, adding that the inclusion of family activities (Santa visits, wagon and Ferris wheel rides) makes Alight at Night appealing to families.
One thing that made this year different than others, was the exceptionally mild weather. “The warmer weather in December definitely mad an impact,” she said. “I guess El Niño touched Alight at Night in a big way!”