Plenty planned for 25th Festival of Lights

Community event marks quarter century with exciting lineup.

As we all know, celebrating a 25 year accomplishment in any walk of life is an achievement.  Here at the Chamber, we feel the same way about planning the Silver Anniversary of the Festival of Lights.

When we discussed what the 25th Anniversary Light Up could look like, we wanted to incorporate many of the classics that our town has known and loved.  But we also wanted to shake things up a bit and introduce some new and fun things – first to acknowledge that we’re celebrating a very special anniversary; secondly, to showcase our Downtown and our local businesses, 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.   Today’s column is designed to peak your interest in what will be a great Light Up evening on Nov. 30 and a great weekend with the return of Light Up the Vines.

There are some activities that we just couldn’t do without.  These include: the biggest and best Fireworks display ever, sponsored by the Summerland Credit Union, and this year set to music; Elvis and mini donuts; meeting all our friends on Main Street and listening to local performers; the annual ‘Season Sparkles’ art show at the Summerland Art Gallery; taking your children to the ever popular Santa’s Workshop in the Summerland Credit Union building; photos with Santa — this year at True Grain Bread; enjoying delicious fajitas grilled by Nesters and shaking it all around in the bouncy castles, and on the ATV and pony rides.

New activities for this year include: a post fireworks performance on the Main Stage starring Canadian pop/rock star Andrew Allen.

And look for a new Twitter Wall; a Shadow Wall created by Valleywide Home Improvements; the official Festival Gingerbread Man baked by True Grain; a Marshmallow Roast hosted by the Royal Bank; Letters to Santa at the Post Office; LED Snowflake Head Boppers and Snowflake Wands; an Official Snowflake Bead in partnership with Bead Trails; and a special Christmas Craft Fair and Open House at Summerland Seniors Village from 2 to 4 p.m.

25 years ago, some creative and thoughtful individuals developed the Festival of Lights as a great event for Summerland.  In honor of the 25th Anniversary, one of these families, the Hallquists, are making a gift to the community of live ice carving displays.  These will be found at two locations downtown and it will be amazing.  Thank you Hallquists!

Don’t forget that the Bottleneck Drive Winery Association is hosting the second annual Light Up the Vines event on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 1 and 2.  The Summerland Waterfront Resort has great weekend packages so your out-of-town friends can enjoy the weekend in style.  And, of course, there will be great local shopping at our downtown merchants.

You won’t want to miss this weekend, Summerland!   The posters are up around town and our Festival homepage at and our Facebook page will give you all the details and times of events so you can stay connected.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all on Friday, Nov. 30.  Happy 25th everyone!

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at or Christine Petkau at


Arlene Fenrich is President of the Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism.  All of the members of The Board of Directors serve as volunteers.



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