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

Revelstoke man with Alberta plates gets car keyed and aggressive note

Some people are finding hostile reception due to COVID-19 worries

Province seeks feedback on proposed all-season recreation resort near New Denver

Mountain lodge, chairlifts, hiking and biking trails all part of massive resort

COVID-19 closes Okanagan College summer camps

Popular Camp OC put on shelf from Salmon Arm to Penticton, and Revelstoke, until 2021

Photos: Businesses start to reopen in Revelstoke

Multiple businesses have reopened their doors

B.C. records no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time in weeks

Good news comes despite 11 new test-positive cases in B.C. in the past 24 hours

Peachland recovery task force proposes larger patios

Several initiatives proposed by the Peachland COVID-19 recovery task force will go to council tonight

Fatal motorcycle crash on Highway 97 near Summerland

The incident involving a motorcycle happened just before 4 p.m.

Tagging Suicide Hill in Vernon in lieu of grad party?

City councillor pitches idea to revive old tradition amid COVID-19 pandemic

BC Corrections to expand list of eligible offenders for early release during pandemic

Non-violent offenders are being considered for early release through risk assessment process

Fraser Valley driver featured on ‘Highway Thru Hell’ TV show dies

Monkhouse died Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

Most Read