MORRISBURG – It is a Christmas tradition that has been around for 17 years at Upper Canada Village, the Alight at Night Festival.
This was not my first year attending with my family, rather our 12th since moving to the area. My family has grown up with Alight at Night as part of our Christmas.
This year’s event is just as spectacular as previous years.
Starting off, every year is different. The lights are put on differently by the staff every year. This change-up helps keep things fresh. A nice addition was opening up the space around the Loucks’ farm, including decorating the new carriage barn that opened this past summer.
The night our family attended it was snowing, which added to the feeling walking through the village and past the buildings and displays. St. Nick’s Merry Mansion was great as usual, with Santa Claus in his Victorian outfit. That seems to make our annual visit and Christmas photo even more special.
The big change this year is in the fairgrounds area. The Ferris wheel is gone, replaced with Twinkletown. I never ventured on to the Ferris wheel during its time at the village. The idea of being 40 feet up in the air in freezing temperatures was not appealing to me. That said, it was enjoyed by the teenagers in our family.
Its replacement, Twinkletown, was a hit. The air-blown bouncy castles are festive, fit with the theme, and were a hit with the family. One tip however, bring extra socks (which we did not of course). Winter boots are not allowed on the air-blown equipment. If it is snowing or there is moisture in the air, feet are going to get wet.
Another favourite for us was carolling at the church. When we were there, Joel Exner was leading the carol singing while Abraham Tegrotenhuis was performing on piano. It was difficult to get into the church due to the popularity of it.
Closing out the festival was a ride on the festivals’ toy train outside of the village entrance, which was fun, regardless of how young, or young at heart you are.
The only real downside to the festival, is that it closes January 7th.