Alight at Night re­turns

Pop­u­lar Up­per Canada Vil­lage at­trac­tion is back for Christ­mas sea­son

The Recorder & Times (Brockville) - - NEWS - TODD HAMBLETON

MORRISBURG — Alight at Night is un­der­way at Up­per Canada Vil­lage near Morrisburg, and the first, al­ready sold out ac­ces­si­bil­ity night of the sea­son is Wed­nes­day.

“Ac­ces­si­bil­ity nights are of­fered for peo­ple to drive through the vil­lage ac­com­pa­nied by a staff per­son,” said St. Lawrence Parks Com­mis­sion act­ing di­rec­tor of mar­ket­ing Su­san Le Clair, not­ing a sec­ond ac­ces­si­bil­ity night is slated for Dec. 19.

On Mon­day morn­ing, Le Clair said there were still book­ing times of 7:30, 8 and 8:30 p.m. for the sec­ond night that’s com­ing up in two weeks.

“We usu­ally put about six cars or ve­hi­cles in each of the time slots,” she said.

The two nights al­low peo­ple to ride in their own ve­hi­cle, with cars and ac­ces­si­bil­ity vans per­mit­ted– though coaches and school buses can­not be ac­com­mo­dated due to their size.

For safety, the vil­lage pro­vides a trained and li­censed staff per­son fa­mil­iar with the road­ways and paths in the dark, to lead the ve­hi­cles through the site.

Note that reser­va­tions are re­quired for an ac­ces­si­bil­ity night visit, and that ad­mis­sion is $15 per per­son (plus HST).

The pop­u­lar an­nual lights fes­ti­val at­trac­tion opened on the week­end, and over 4,500 at­tended. “It’s a good start,” Le Clair said. The vil­lage is decked out in over one mil­lion lights, help­ing to ig­nite the hol­i­day spirit, and it’s the big­gest win­ter light fes­ti­val in South­east­ern On­tario.

The 24-hectare (60-acre) acre her­itage site is trans­formed into a mag­i­cal win­ter won­der­land each hol­i­day sea­son that can be ex­plored by foot, horse-drawn wagon or ro­man­tic car­riage ride.

Just as the pop­u­lar early fall at­trac­tion Pump­kin­ferno con­tin­ues to evolve, there’s al­ways some­thing dif­fer­ent to en­joy at Alight at Night, with the fair­ground this year be­com­ing “Carousel Cor­ner.”

“(It’s) a vintage (1965) merry-gor­ound of 20 pranc­ing horses with rides for young­sters,” Le Clair said, adding the out­door Carousel Cor­ner Café is a spot to grab a hot bev­er­age and warm up in one of the new hol­i­day huts.

Note that carousel rides are for vis­i­tors un­der 100 pounds in weight, and that par­ents or other guardians can stand along­side the horses their chil­dren will be rid­ing upon.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful area and a good place to stop and have a break,” Le Clair said. “There are some beau­ti­ful spots set up for pho­tos as well.”

Le Clair said Carousel Cor­ner is be­ing made pos­si­ble through On­tario Min­istry of Tourism, Cul­ture and Sport Cel­e­brate On­tario fund­ing.

An an­nual pop­u­lar stop at the vil­lage this time of year is Saint Nick’s Merry Man­sion, where Alight at Night’s Vic­to­rian Saint Nick will be re­sid­ing – but only for a few weeks.

“Fam­i­lies look­ing for the ul­ti­mate Santa visit ex­pe­ri­ence should plan to visit be­fore Dec 23,” Le Clair said.

Alight at Night is open Thurs­day to Sun­day nights, un­til Dec. 23. The fes­ti­val is closed on Christ­mas Eve and Christ­mas Day, and is open nightly from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.

The fes­ti­val has all-in­clu­sive pric­ing with one ad­mis­sion price in­clud­ing en­try to the vil­lage, the horse-drawn wagon ride, toy train ride, Saint Nick’s Merry Man­sion, Carousel Cor­ner, sing­ing at Christ Church and a visit to the bak­ery.

Adult (13+) ad­mis­sion is $16, youth (5-12 years) is $12 and chil­dren four years and younger are ad­mit­ted free. Ad­vance ticket pur­chase is strongly rec­om­mended, to speed en­try into the fes­ti­val.

More de­tails on the fes­ti­val can be found at www.Aligh­tatNight.ca or by call­ing the cus­tomer ser­vice unit at 613-543-4328 or 800-437-2233. tham­ble­[email protected]­media.com

TODD HAMBLETON/POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

A beau­ti­fully-lit walk­way at Alight at Night, on Dec. 1, 2017. The 2018 edi­tion opened Fri­day.

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