Record setting attendance for 18th annual Alight at Night festival

Alight at Night lights up attendance record – Close to 48,000 people visited the Alight at Night festival at Upper Canada Village. The event opened November 30, 2018 and ran until January 5, 2019 except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Pictured above, the historic Robertson House is decked out with thousands of lights. There are nearly one million LED lights used in the annual nighttime event. (The Leader/Blancher photo)

MORRISBURG – Another successful season has come and gone for Upper Canada Village’s Alight at Night festival.

The event, which saw its last visitors January 5th, received over 47,900 visitors according to Susan LeClair, acting director of marketing for the St. Lawrence Parks Commission.

“Everything worked out in our favor this year,” LeClair said.

Last season, a cold snap after Christmas impacted visits to the village.

“Even with the one day we were shut down this year, our numbers are up,” she said.

The event was closed December 28th due to slippery conditions on the streets and pathways in the village, the result of a freezing rain storm that struck the region.

The previous record for attendance was 46,400, which was set in 2016 after an unseasonably warm December.

New this year, the Carousel Corner was a popular addition to the event and featured a 1960’s vintage carousel for children to ride. In addition, there were warming stations, photo activities for families and a hot cocoa and cider kiosk.

“[Carousel Corner] was really well received by visitors,” LeClair said.

Started in 2001, Alight at Night has won numerous tourism awards from tourism organizations and the province. It was named as one of the top 100 events by Festivals and Events Ontario in 2012.

The lights will be on one more time, for the fifth annual Dion Ignite the Night snowshoe race January 12th. The race is the first stop in the 2019 Dion Ontario Snowshoe Running Series and has 5K and 10K events. Upper Canada Village will reopen for the spring and summer season beginning May 3rd.

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