Festival marks start of holiday season in Summerland

Living in Summerland we all know that our town centre is charming.

Living in Summerland we all know that our town centre is charming.

It’s even lovelier at Christmas when Summerland hosts the Okanagan’s premier Christmas event on the last Friday in November. This year will be our 26th Festival of Lights and we expect just over 6,000 people on the streets.  We all love the moment when the street goes dark and the crowd counts down to the instant the lights go on.  It’s magical!

Here 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. 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.

The evening 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. Come and see our 16 Summerland royalty and contestants as our resident elves and don’t forget to bring your letters to Santa to drop off at the post office. Your family will also enjoy pony and ATV rides, bouncy toys, community dancers and choirs and great music. Fun new band Champagne Republic will entertain on the main stage this year and a spectacular fireworks finale is sponsored by the Summerland Credit Union. You’ll also be able to try the most delicious food you’ve ever seen in one place.

A post fireworks finale Glow Party will be located on Main Street and headlined by the Kinshira Performance Troupe. Working with numerous glowing and fiery props, this Kelowna based group promises to delight the crowds. Get ready to dance for the next hour to a high energy DJ and wear whatever you have that lights up! Wearable Light Up options will also be available for purchase at the chamber’s information booth on Main Street.

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. More information can be found at www.bottleneckdrive.com.

See you on Nov. 29! Check out all the activities and enter a fantastic Festival of Lights contest event at our new website at www.summerlandlightup.com.

We always appreciate your feedback. Please contact me at president@summerlandchamber.com or Christine Petkau at manager@summerlandchamber.com.

Arlene Fenrich is President of the Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism.