Tis the season to light up the night

Local organizations are getting ready for expanded holiday festivals

The next two weekends promise to be bright ones in Summerland

Arts Council heads into the great outdoors

On Nov. 25 at 5 p.m. the Summerland Community Arts Council is lighting up their first ever outdoor art installation, “Presence/ts on Wharton Street,” designed to attract Light-Up crowds to the new cultural district in Summerland and welcome them to the annual Season’s Sparkles gift sale in the new home of the Arts Council.

This is the first time the Arts Council has had access to outside space and the unprecedented idea of participating in Summerland’s huge Light-Up Festival (projected attendance 7000) with a massive art installation was born.

Local artist Sophia Zang had the brainwave of combining apple bins — an iconic and historic symbol of Summerland —with Christmas lights to celebrate the Arts Council’s new presence on Wharton Street in Summerland, and to entice visitors into the Arts Centre. The District of Summerland was quick to partner by lighting up the huge pine tree in the park to highlight the installation.

Other partners include the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, Summerland Heritage Cider, the Summerland Museum, BC Tree Fruits, Triple L Transport, and Fortis BC. An army of elves has been busy making presents, getting lights, and preparing the outside and inside for Light-Up and for Season’s Sparkles Christmas Gift Shop.

Light up the Vines expands

Summerland wineries are also getting into the  holiday spirit with a newly expanded sixth annual Light up the Vines celebration.

“Each year, our amazing wineries and cideries along Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive light up their vines and open their doors to mark the start of the festive season,” said Bottleneck Drive Winery Association president Christa-Lee Bond.

In response to the event’s growing popularity, organizers have added an additional day: Light up the Vines runs 3 to 8 p.m. Nov. 19, Nov. 26 and Nov. 27.

Visitors will enjoy wine tastings, sparkling lights, refreshments and music while stocking up on some of the region’s best wines and ciders for holiday entertaining and gift-giving. While touring collect stamps from five wineries to complete a Light up the Vines passport and be entered to win a prize package valued at over $500.

Bottleneck Drive members will also be providing wine tastings during Summerland’s annual Festival of Lights on Nov. 25.