Owen Sound Festival of Northern Lights

Owen Sound Festival of Northern Lights
Photo: owensoundfestivalofnorthernlights.ca
The Festival of Northern Lights is an annual display of Christmas lights held in the Canadian city of Owen Sound, Ontario. The celebration starts in mid-November and runs through early January, attracting about 20,000 visitors from all over Canada every year.

Decorating streets and houses with Christmas lights and installation is a popular Christmas tradition in North America, but Owen Sound is one of the few cities where it has been transformed into a large festival of light.

The Owen Sound Festival of Northern Lights was inaugurated by Marie Walpole in 1987. Since then, it has grown to become one of the biggest and most spectacular winter light shows in Canada. In 2009, the industry organization Festivals and Events Ontario named it one of the top 100 festivals in the province of Ontario.

Every year in the middle of November the streets and parks of Owen Sound get decorated with approximately 30 kilometers of lights strings and about 400 light sculptures and installations. The festival lasts for about a month and a half, its closing marks the end of the Christmas season.

Originally, traditional incandescent lights were used for light displays, but since 2008 the Festival of Northern Lights has been using LED lights out the respect for the environment. The use of more energy-efficient LED lights allowed to reduce operating costs and thus expand the magnitude of the event.

You can enjoy bright and colorful Christmas light installations during a stroll along the city streets, but if you want to feel the Christmas spirit, we suggest that you take a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh. The displays light up at 5 pm and go out at 11 pm, so you have plenty of time to see everything.

Along with Christmas light displays and installations, the program of the festival features exhibitions in local museums and art galleries, live concerts, theatrical performances, parades, and sporting events. Each year, the organizing committee issues a brochure where visitors can find the detailed program.

Festival of Northern Lights Festival of Northern Lights

Photo: owensoundfestivalofnorthernlights.ca




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