Bright Lights Windsor with this year’s them being “Walking in a Windsor Wonderland” returned to Jackson Park, running through Jan. 9, 2022, opening ceremonies were held this past Thurs., Dec. 2, featuring the official lighting ceremony of the of the 64-foot tree in the Queen Elizabeth II Sunken Gardens.
Mayor Drew Dilkens and Tourism Windsor Essex C.E.O. Gordon Orr made opening remarks, joined by Dr. Wassim Saad, Windsor Regional Hospital CEO and Brian Payne, chair of the board at Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare. The crowd excitedly counted down with them and the community representatives pushed the giant red button to light up the tree. The crowd erupted into cheers and applause, many shouting out Merry Christmas, as the tree lit up.
Dilkens told the crowd that, “it was hard for us to cancel this event last year because we know how much Bright Lights means to Windsor. When I see the lights on tonight it truly does feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel with this pandemic.”
Some of the COVID-19 safety precautions to keep people safe this year include mandatory mask wearing whenever social distancing of 2 meters is not possible, extra spacing between displays and the WE Made It: Holiday Market vendors, and directional signage throughout the park to keep pedestrians flowing in a one-way direction.
“The theme this year is ‘Walking Through a Windsor Wonder Land,'” continued Dilkens. “You are going to be amazed by what you see. You will see six different zones with features you’ve never seen before. There are plenty of places to take pictures with your family and loved ones all throughout the park.”
Holiday displays include Wish Upon a Star, Winter Wonderland, Candy Cane Lane, Santa’s Stable, Peace & Love Around the World, and W.E. the North.
New this year located under a big white tent in the Holiday Market area is “YQG Hearts for Hope.” For a donation visitors can decorate a paper heart with a message of hope and then place it on the wall that is set up. These walls will be placed in our local hospitals for staff to see when this year’s event concludes. Funds raised from the campaign will benefit Transition to Betterness, UHC – Hub of Opportunities, and The Salvation Army. YQG Hearts For Hope is a partnership between the city and Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation and Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare Foundation.
The holiday market will be open Fridays and Saturdays, with a partial market for food and beverages operating during the week.
Tuesdays will be Silent Nights Tuesdays are sensory friendly night. The lights will be on, but sound will be muted and strobe elements paused so the display can be enjoyed in a peaceful environment that is accommodating to those with sensory sensitivities.
Bright Lights Windsor is a free magnificent display meant to bring people together and runs every night from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. until January 9, 2022.
For more information visit http://www.brightlightswindsor.ca