Festival of Lights has been popular Summerland tradition

Launch of festive season started more than three decades ago

For more than three decades, Summerland has welcomed the festive season with the annual Festival of Lights.

“The Festival of Lights was conceived 32 years ago by four Summerland businessmen, Jerry Hallquist, Art Sewell, Allan Fabbi and myself under the umbrella of the Downtown Business Improvement Area,” said Bruce Hallquist. “At the time, it was the only festival of its kind in the Okanagan”.

Current Mayor Toni Boot remembers the early days of the festival.

“Having grown up in Summerland, then returning to raise my two sons, I have attended many Festival of Lights celebrations,” she said. “Some festivals have seen bone-chilling temperatures, while others have enjoyed relatively mild weather. For me, a light snow always adds an extra touch of magical perfection to the event.”

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Summerland marks holiday season with 31st annual Festival of Lights

READ ALSO: Summerland holds multiple events to launch festive season

From the start, the festival was popular.

“Festival of Lights was an instant success with an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 people in attendance for the first event”, Hallquist said. “It continues to thrive today and is not only a premier holiday event for Summerland, but for the entire Okanagan.”

To get the event started the inaugural Festival of Lights committee sold strings of Christmas lights to every merchant and building owner in the downtown area.

Approximately 25,000 lights were sold that first year.

The District of Summerland became involved and decorated the light standards on the streets and other public buildings in the downtown area.

The Festival of Lights now has many events spanning several weeks.

The Light Up Summerland downtown event, on Nov. 29, is the largest single-day festival in the Okanagan with 12,000 to 14,000 people expected to attend.

The Summerland Chamber of Commerce produces the event for the District of Summerland.

“I could not believe the size and scope of the event,” said David Hull, executive director of the chamber.

“Last year was my first Light Up event and I was blown away! It is really a magical event that brings not only Summerland folks together but also our neighbours from up and down the valley. The atmosphere is so positive and vibrant.”

Additional information on Light Up Summerland and other Festival of Lights events can be found at summerlandlightup.com and on the Summerland Festival of Lights Facebook page.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

RCMP called in North Shuswap about vehicle with U.S. licence plates

Police summoned on July 4 regarding car parked with California plates

Motorcycle rider seriously injured in collision with vehicle west of Pritchard

Chase RCMP report that motorcycle was attempting to pass when crash occurred

Road repaired after landslide in Seymour Arm

A temporary fix for a damaged water system has also been completed

Input wanted on cannabis grow near Gardom Lake

A temporary use permit is being considered for a Capri Road property

Shuswap potter’s empty bowls help fill food bank

Mud, Sweat and Tears’ Bruce Nyeste expects project to raise $12,000 for Salmon Arm’s Second Harvest

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Kelowna taxpayers could pay $90K for losses caused by cancelled Memorial Cup

$135,000 would be put aside for a potential bid for a future opportunity to host the tournament

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Predator mutilated cats in Kelowna: BC SPCA

The BC SPCA confirmed a mutilated cat was killed by a predator

LETTER: Former Summerland mayors speak out on solar project

Five former Summerland mayors sign name to short letter

Emergency crews conduct CPR on unresponsive person in Okanagan Lake

West Kelowna emergency crews are on scene at the shores of Jubilee Mobile Home Park

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

$500 fine for Vernon man caught near Coldstream playground

Richard Slobodian, 58, served one night in jail and ordered to pay for breaching probation

Most Read