Alight at Night attendance brightens

Thirteen per cent more people went to Alight at Night event in 2023.

One of the new activities at Alight at Night in 2023 was this life-sized Lite Brite, which was crafted in-house by St. Lawrence Parks Commission staff. (Supplied/SLPC photo)

MORRISBURG – The popular Alight at Night festival at Upper Canada Village saw its fortunes brighten at the end of the 2023 event, with 5,000 more people visiting the site.

This year marked the 23rd year for the event, which is run by the St. Lawrence Parks Commission.

“Alight at Night saw nearly 41,000 attendees to the festival,” said Geoff Waycik, director of SLPC historic sites.

That accounted for a 13 per cent increase in attendance from 2022. This season’s visitor count was still down from the near record-setting attendance of 46,000 set in 2021.

Waycik said a highlight of the season welcoming the event’s 750,000th guest in early December 2023.

The season saw several new interactive activities added to the over one million lights adorning the 1860s historic village. These included a giant “Alite-Brite”, a new snow tower toss game and the opening of Blitzen’s Barn – a reading zone with scheduled story times with one of St. Nick’s elves. This year also marked the return of the Village’s miniature train ride.

According to the SLPC, the economic impact of Alight at Night was estimated to be over $4 million according to the Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model. This calculates the direct and indirect benefits to the regional economy.

Waycik said that a number of marriage proposals took place on the horse drawn carriage rides, and throughout the village. The park now is closed until the start of the summer season in May.

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