Bright Lights Expands the Magic
As hundreds walked around Bright Lights Windsor in the electrified Jackson Park Friday night (Dec. 14) their steps seemed a bit lighter, often in concert with the music in the air. But this wasn’t recorded music, it was live. The Myskow Brothers were in the house, actually they were performing in the dark which made their presence all the more magical causing one passing young girl to ask, “isn’t this just like Disneyland?”
With a $1.5 million upgrade, the City of Windsor has added new attractions – including a train ride – and pushed out the footprint of its popular free family-oriented festival.
Throughout the park, wherever a glowing light fixture stood, visitors were shooting selfies, others could be seen asking passers-by to take a shot of them in front of the 64-foot tree in the Queen Elizabeth II Sunken Gardens – yes it’s back – or many more were standing in groups for photos in some of the multiple lighted tunnels.
There seemed to be an almost unquenchable thirst to be photographed in the Rose City’s place to be in December. Favourite iconic holiday characters from last year had long lines including a tall white statuesque polar bear. Equally long queues flanked the Lights’ many new attractions, such as the eight foot tall letters spelling out Windsor on the west side of the park. Highly visible to motorists travelling by on Ouellette Avenue, it is reminiscent of the Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square in the Queen City or the one in Detroit on Woodward Avenue, south of the new Little Caesar’s Arena.
Along with the music in the air, there was also the tantalizing aroma of fresh French fries near another new addition. On Friday and Saturday nights a market consisting of rows of huts will be home to artisans and food purveyors selling everything from those fries to pancakes and crafts. The WE Made It: Holiday Market is sponsored by the local tourist agency, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, in a partnership with Urban Art Market & the Rose City Etsy Team. The market will operate until December 28.
The Myskow Brothers were one a series of performers scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm.
Editors note: Amelia Daigle and Brianna DeSantis of Abridged Opera sang Christmas Carols on Friday, December 28, 2018. They informed us that Abridged Opera will be presenting Jules Massenet’s Cinderella (Cendrillon), in a theatre in the round setting, with members of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra at Willistead Manor on March 27 & 28, 2019.
The event will continue nightly until January 6, 2019 from 5:30pm to 10:00pm. Jackson Park’s main entrance is at the intersection of Ouellette and Tecumseh Avenues. Parking is nearby at Kennedy Collegiate, via McDougall Street, as well as the Parks & Recreation Field House and main office on McDougall. Jackson Park’s regular parking lot will be closed during Bright Lights.
Article by Robert Tuomi
For over a decade, Robert has covered local news and community events. Initially as a contributor to CBC Radio’s local morning show and then as the long-time producer and host of CJAM’s The Rest of the News and as a journalist at the Windsor Square. A graduate of the Nikon School of Photography he enjoys illustrating his reports with what he sees through his camera’s lens.