Someone forwarded the latest Winter Festival of Lights newsletter to me. It is kind of long, but has lots of details about events surrounding the festival.
The 30th Annual CAA Winter festival of Lights is fast approaching in Niagara Falls. It begins November 3, 2012 at the Outdoor Stage in Queen Victoria Park. Look for an exciting showcase including performances from your favorite Disney characters and the Festival of Lights Choir.
This year’s festival which is Canada’s foremost illumination festival will run November 3 to January 31, 2013.
There will be over 125 animated lighting displays and 3 million tree and ground lights which will be seen within the Niagara Parks Winder Wonderland.
There is no admission fee but there will be Festival Ambassadors at the exit of Dufferin Island accepting donations. (Suggested contribution $5-$10 per car; $1 per coach bus passenger) with proceeds used to continue this great lighting festival.
For more information please check their webpage at www.wfol.com
From the Niagara Falls Review:
It’s a Wednesday afternoon a few days before Christmas and the last thing Dino Fazio wants to see is weather like this.
As winter begins, rain is pouring onto the outdoor skating rink built near the Table Rock building.
After seven years of heading up the Winter Festival of Lights, the 40-year-old Fazio knows weather is one of those elements he just has to roll with.
“When you’re involved in outdoor events, the one thing you can’t control is the weather. You’re always worried about it,” he said.
From a PR Web press release:
One of the cornerstones of the Niagara-in-winter experience – the TD RINK at the Brink – opens to the public for its third season on Thursday, December 1.
The TD RINK – Niagara’s answer to the iconic outdoor ice skating rinks at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto and Rockefeller Centre in New York City – is located just a snowball’s throw from the brink of the world-famous Horseshoe Falls.
The signature Niagara Falls attraction of the CAA Winter Festival of Lights, the TD RINK offers public skating, skate and locker rentals and free helmets for those who need them, as well as a skate sharpening service and group rates for holiday outings, parties, school trips and corporate team-building exercises. RINK adds yet another unique and fun family experience to the CAA Winter Festival of Lights, which is already one of the most iconic festivals in Ontario.
TD, the title sponsor of the TD RINK, has generously agreed to provide six ‘TD Free Skate Days’. ‘TD Free Skate Days’ allow members of the public to experience the TD RINK at the Brink complements of TD. Additionally, the TD Comfort Crew will be in attendance at each ‘TD Free Skate Day’ providing complementary hot chocolate and a souvenir photo.
From the Niagara Falls Review (includes video):
With the push of a button by Mickey and Minnie, the CAA Winter Festival of Lights kicked off its 29th year Saturday night. The festival got under way in familiar fashion with a pair of free shows at Queen Victoria Park featuring magician Greg Frewin, the cast of the Oh Canada Eh? dinner show and local dancers and singers.
There were back-to-back Ontario Power Generation Opening Ceremony shows, but the first one ended with the illumination of the festival’s three million lights along a 6 km stretch of the Niagara Parkway.
The park was packed with thousands of people for the opening night events thanks to temperatures that were less frigid than normal. “It’s like an early gift. It’s a nice way to start off the season,” said Winter Festival of Lights general manager Dino Fazio.
The nice weather made the kick-off more appealing this year, said one of the many parents who brought their kids to see the Disney characters perform. “The kids love it because they get to see action – the characters, the Christmas music. It’s good for the community,” said Lorraine Bradshaw, who brought her nine-year-old daughter Kaitelyn to the event for the first time.
We had originally planned on going again this year (we went last year), but after reading about it, decided it would be the same as last year so we didn’t bother going.
From the Buffalo News:
Mickey and Minnie Mouse mascots will flip the switch Saturday evening to mark the official start of the 29th annual CAA Winter Festival of Lights at the Ontario Power Generation Opening Ceremonies at 5:45 in Queen Victoria Park.
In addition to the debut of the lights, a one-hour stage show will feature performances by up-and-coming Canadian singers Brooklyn Roebuck and Stephanie McIlroy, the cast of the “Oh Canada Eh?” dinner show, the Wendy Leard School of Dance, the Festival Choir and champion magician Greg Frewin. The first holiday fireworks show will follow. A second show, complete with fireworks, will start at 7. Both shows are free.
From the Toronto Sun:
It started as a way to keep up with our American competition.
Now, nearly three decades later, the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights has no competition.
When rumblings of a winter lights festival first started in 1982, organizers watched what was happening across the border with envy. Established two years earlier, the Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, N.Y., was an immediate hit, attracting 250,000 people during its first year. It was one of the rare times our American counterpart got the tourism jump on us.
It’s the season for winter wonderlands, and Niagara Falls delivers its own unique twist with its annual CAA Winter Festival of Lights. It’s not a small undertaking — over one million visitors come each year, injecting enthusiasm and much-needed tourism dollars into the area. Here’s what there is to see.
From the Niagara Falls Review:
The leaves have fallen, the pumpkins are gone and the Christmas decorations are out of storage.
But around Niagara Falls, the season doesn’t formally start until Mickey Mouse says so.
The Disney icon will once again flip the switch Saturday night at Queen Victoria Park to get the 28th CAA Winter Festival of Lights underway. In a flash, more than 125 displays and three million lights will dazzle the city, making it one of North America’s largest lights festivals.
“It kind of officially turns the city into winter mode,” says festival general manager Dino Fazio. “It certainly drives a lot of overnight tourism (this weekend) … that’s when we start to see people showing up.
“They’ll come on a regular basis. There are those that come now but also want to see (the lights) when the snow falls as well.”
From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle:
From Rochester: About 90 miles.
Attraction: The Winter Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, Ontario, running through Jan. 4, features holiday light displays, live concerts, fireworks and special events. The outdoor displays are lighted from 5 p.m. to midnight, including an “Enchantment of Disney” display.