Summerland festival marks the start of holiday season

Summerland is celebrating the start of the holiday season with the 26th annual Festival of Lights on Nov. 29.

eo Jerome

Summerland is celebrating the start of the holiday season with the 26th annual Festival of Lights on Nov. 29.

Organizers expect just over 6,000 people on the streets to count down the moment when the switch is flicked on and the magical lights illuminate Summerland.

“At the Chamber, when we are organizing light up, we have some very important goals for the evening. Of course we always want to shake things up a bit and introduce some new and fun things and this year is no different,” said Arlene Fenrich, president of the Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism. “We also want to showcase our downtown and our local businesses, provide a wonderful fundraising opportunity for local non-profit organizations, and, last but not least, let our visitors know that Summerland is a great place to live where families and young people can have a wonderful experience.”

This year’s event features a Santa procession, ice sculptures sponsored by Progressive, Santa’s workshop hosted by the Summerland Credit Union, as well as fun kid zone activities and photos with Santa sponsored by IGA.

Summerland royalty will be taking on the roll of elves and children are invited to bring their letters to Santa to drop off at the post office.

The Summerland Festival of Lights is taking on the theme that ranges from carnival to carnivale for 2013.

The party starts at 2 p.m. at Summerland Secondary School with a special performance by Champagne Republic until 3 p.m. At 5 p.m. Santa will be taken by horse drawn carriage from the school down Main Street. Photos with Santa will be available until 8:30 p.m. Entertainment on the main stage kicks off at 5:15 p.m. and will include hip hop dancers from the Summerland School of Dance, choirs from Trout Creek and Montessori Elementary schools, singer Tiana Ferlizza, singers from Summerland Secondary School, a jazz band and Champagne Republic performing at 7:15 p.m.

After they are finished their set, head over to Kelly Street to watch the fireworks at 8:30 p.m.

The finale of the Festival of Lights starts at 9 p.m. with Kinshira Performance Troupe performing on the main stage and DJ Froggy Stylz hosting a glow dance party on Main Street. Everyone is encouraged to wear whatever you have that lights up.

Working with numerous glowing and fiery props, Kinshira promises to be a great ending to the evening.  Light Up Christmas hair noodles will be available at the chamber booth on Main Street for purchase.

Street vendors will start offering food options including everything from poutine, Greek, candy floss and mini donuts starting at 5 p.m.

Also starting at that time will be a variety of entertainment on Main Street including ice carving, bouncy castles, pony rides in the park, an ATV train in the park, fajita cookout by Nester’s Market, wine tasting pop-up, seasonal photo boards outside the Summerland Art Gallery, kabob BBQ at IGA with proceeds to the Summerland Food Bank kids crafts, chili night at the IOOF Hall and a bake sale with macaroni and cheese supper at the United Church.

“This is also the kick off to a fantastic weekend with the third annual Light Up The Vines being held on Saturday, Nov. 30 and Sunday, Dec. 1. This beautiful self guided winery tour is hosted by our winery association, Bottleneck Drive and their 13 member wineries.  All the wineries are lit for Christmas and offer tastings and other delicious fare,” said Fenrich.

For more information visit www.summerlandlightup.com and if you are following along on Twitter use the hashtag #SLANDLIGHTUP.

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