Tag: Festival of Lights

    Google auto-complete entries for Niagara Falls

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    I was watching some of the WIRED’s Autocomplete Interviews and I thought it would be fun to see what some of the common searches are for Niagara Falls:

    Decent questions.

    I’m sure that all sorts of different attractions would love to have their names show up automatically!

    I would think that Niagara Falls is considered a waterfall.

    How much does it cost? You mean to buy all 3 waterfalls? I don’t think anyone could afford it! ūüôā

    Record year for Winter Festival of Lights

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    A record number of people checked out the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights last season. Read More…

    SEARCH ENGINE: Hanging three million lights

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    Q: How long does it take to put up the Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls? I’m also curious as to where they are stored in the off season.

    A: It takes more than two times longer to put up all those lights than it does to take them down.

    Niagara Parks Commission Chief Operating Officer David Adames said teams from Niagara Parks and Winter Festival of Lights spend about 10 to 12 weeks setting up the various installations.

    Niagara Falls tourism leaders want to bring back Festival of Lights

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    From the Buffalo News:

    The Festival of Lights used to draw thousands to downtown in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and to its convention center and Winter Garden.

    Both the convention center and Winter Garden are long gone, and so is the Festival of Lights.

    But in Niagara Falls, Ontario, the Winter Festival of Lights continues to grow and draw tourists. The Ontario festival says it attracts more than one million visitors each year.

    Lisa Vitello, Tourism Advisory Board chairman, said Monday she traveled to Ontario’s festival earlier this month. She returned feeling bad about the loss of the festival in Niagara Falls, N.Y.

    Festival of Lights opens in Niagara Falls’ Hyde Park

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    From the Buffalo News:

    A drive-through festival of holiday light display was to be switched on, followed by a fireworks show, the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 23 in Hyde Park.

    There were more than 20 displays available Wednesday, but Peter P. Robinson, head of A Hand Up Inc., said the number will soon increase to about 35.

    A few photos from the OPG Winter Festival of Lights

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    Last night the family went for a brief drive along the Niagara Parkway to check out the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights. It is the first time I’ve seen all of the lights at night. They look excellent. There are a lot more than there used to be.

    One strange thing is related to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. There was some kind of promotion/sponsorship because of the movie, and you can get paper/plastic glasses to wear. When you put them on, the lights look like there are ninja turtles around them. Like this:


    I mentioned this to someone and wondered what this had to do with Christmas. The person said that the Disney displays didn’t really have anything to do with Christmas either. Very true.

    Dufferin Islands has some new displays. I made a simple animated gif of one display that shows a bird taking off/flying.


    Along the hill/escarpment by the Skylon Tower, some lights have been put out that flash intermittently, so it looks like the hill is twinkling.

    Here are some other photos I took:

    2014-2015_opg_winter_festival_of_lights_09 2014-2015_opg_winter_festival_of_lights_08 2014-2015_opg_winter_festival_of_lights_07
    2014-2015_opg_winter_festival_of_lights_06 2014-2015_opg_winter_festival_of_lights_05 2014-2015_opg_winter_festival_of_lights_04
    2014-2015_opg_winter_festival_of_lights_03 2014-2015_opg_winter_festival_of_lights_02 2014-2015_opg_winter_festival_of_lights_01

    Musical upgrade for Festival of Lights

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    You’re going to hear a lot of Niagara Falls composer Nathan Chamberland at the upcoming Winter Festival of Lights. Over and over again.

    An eight and a half minute score Chamberland wrote will be matched with the light displays at Dufferin Islands, giving the park a musical component to go with several new attractions.

    Chamberland, a veteran musician who ran the Niagara Music Awards for two years, says his name was brought up to Festival organizers who were looking for a local artist to create the score.

    “They wanted to hire a Niagara Falls resident instead of going somewhere else,” he says. “They contacted me and said ‘Would you submit some stuff?’ I did, and they said ‘This is great, could you compose eight and a half minutes worth of music?'”

    Niagara Festival of Lights 2014


    Every year since I was 8,¬†¬†My family has spent¬†Thanksgiving in upstate NY and then headed over the following Saturday to the Falls. ¬†That means that we were there for the first Winter Festival of Lights in 1983. ¬†This was long before casinos and mega hotels. ¬†This was when the Festival was even celebrated on the American side, people! ¬†We visited¬†Rainbow Center and the Wintergarden. ¬†THAT long ago. ¬†In fact this is a picture of a display inside what WAS the Convention Center on the American side… and¬†is now the Seneca Niagara Casino Resort…


    (I have more if you want to see them!)

    Needless to say, we have seen many changes over the years.  We saw the Disney displays arrive, grow, then go.  The kids my parents brought to Niagara every year have grown and gone on to marry.  There is now a third generation discovering the festival of Lights in the form of my niece and nephew who are even younger than we were when we started this Thanksgiving tradition.

    Here is what the display looked like in 2011. My niece’s first trip…

    Niagara Festival of Lights 2011

    There were Disney displays and that little village in front of Queen Victoria Place Gift Shop. That year that was a Carousel there too. ¬†She saw the animals and animated¬†displays at Dufferin island that we always enjoyed. ¬†Noah’s ark was always a favorite. ¬†The dinosaurs didn’t make sense outside of the fact that they appeared around the time¬†Jurassic Park was out. ¬†But I guess they have an appeal for little boys.

    Speaking of “appeal”, let’s talk about the new displays at Dufferin (pictures below). ¬†While I appreciate the beauty,¬†concept¬†and engineering of the new displays¬†– my niece started talking about¬†“the banana”. ¬†I didn’t get it at first, but then¬†I realized that the abstract centerpiece did, indeed,¬†look¬†like a banana being peeled.

    Moose & banana

    Being a graphic designer and having worked in Marketing departments¬†for 20 years,¬†I could both appreciate what was being done here…and question what was being done here. ¬†I’ll expound on that in a later post, but for now, I’ll wrap things up by saying I had¬†a wonderful time with my family during this trip. ¬†As always, Niagara kicked off our Christmas season with style, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without it.

    So long until next time, Niagara…..

    Family Overlooking Niagara Falls


    Festival of Lights gears up for 32nd season

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    While the mighty mouse may be gone, the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights has added turtle power to its upcoming season.

    The festival parted ways with Disney in 2013 after more than 20 years of partnering with them for light displays and various attractions including having Mickey and Minnie Mouse participate in the opening ceremonies.

    This season, organizers have partnered with Paramount Canada for a new display featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

    The illuminated renditions of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael will be set up at the top of Clifton Hill.

    There will also be a special screening of the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie at the Ripley’s Moving Theatre on Dec. 16, the day the summer movie will hit store shelves on Blu-Ray and DVD.

    “We are always seeking new and creative ways to expand the festival and this partnership brings a new element to the attraction,” said Brian Crow, co-chairman of the festival.

    The festival’s 32nd season runs from Nov. 15 to Jan. 12.

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