With Ontario still navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, Tourism Goderich will be presenting the Festival of Lights using a different format. The following are some questions and answers to let you know what is happening and how you can get involved.
When is the Goderich Festival of Lights and what is the theme this year?
The Festival of Lights takes place from Saturday, Nov. 21 to Dec. 31, and this year’s theme is “Let Your Light Shine.” Normally, there would be lots of events to promote; special shopping days; musical and theatrical performances; and visits with Santa; and this year will not disappoint, it will just be done differently.
Will there be a Santa Claus parade and if not, what will you do instead?
While there will not be the traditional Santa Claus parade this year, we will be creating a map of all the wonderful light displays throughout the Town of Goderich so people can take their own “self-guided tour” of the lights.
From our own municipal parks which will be decorated for the season, individual homes or businesses, to outdoor displays created by service and non-profit groups, we want you to “Let Your Light Shine” and brighten the holiday season.
We are asking that the displays be turned on from Saturday, Nov. 21 to at least Dec. 26 each evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for people to view them. Our map will allow people to determine what order they want to see the displays and they can even view all the beautiful lights over several evenings.
How can we participate and get on the map?
Let us know that you plan to decorate your house/yard by completing the “Participation Form” in the Signal Star or find it on-line at www.goderich.ca then we’ll “mark you” on the map. Maps will be distributed throughout town and available online so people can tour past all the lovely displays. The map will also list any pandemic-safe events that may be happening during the Festival of Lights.
What if I don’t have a house for people to drive by and see?
Not to worry. You can decorate your balcony or apartment door. Take a picture of your efforts and email the photo to firstname.lastname@example.org including your name and location. We’ll share your creativity on our social media. Remember to “Let Your Light Shine!”
Are there prizes for the best decorations or brightest lights?
It is really hard to judge everyone’s efforts, so to encourage people to just join in and have fun, Tourism Goderich will be putting the name of everyone who participates into two random draws – one for the light tour and one for the submitted photos. There will be several gift certificates to local restaurants for people to win.
Does that mean that Santa isn’t coming to town?
We were able to arrange for Santa to make a special visit to Goderich on two afternoons – Saturday, Nov. 21 and Sunday, Nov. 22 – for his own driving tour. Thanks to the Goderich Kinsmen Club and Murray’s RONA Goderich, Santa Claus will be touring along random streets of Goderich waving and bringing cheer. To comply with regulations, the route is “top secret” to avoid any crowds. If you see Santa, we hope you can snap a picture and add it to our social media pages.
What about the Candlelight Ceremony that the Town of Goderich coordinates?
The Candlelight Ceremony and Tree Lighting involves the lighting of three trees – Angel Tree (for deceased children), MADD Tree (people impacted by impaired drivers) and Forget-Me-Not Tree (individuals touched by Alzheimer). The trees remain on throughout the night to mark this remembrance vigil. Normally this ceremony would take place on Friday, Nov. 20 at Lions Harbour Park as a “kick-off” to our Festival of Lights. This year it will be a recorded service which we plan to show on Facebook Live. We are also working on other outlets to broadcast it.
Will there be a countdown to the lights in Courthouse Square?
Again, due to restrictions on gatherings, we will be recording a ceremony to officially announce our Festival of Lights 2020. With it visible on Facebook Live and other avenues, you can enjoy it more than once. There may even be a countdown!
Who should I contact if I have any questions?
Please reach out to Wanda Keith, Festivals & Specials Events Coordinator, by telephone: 519-524-6600 or email her at email@example.com
Tourism Goderich is looking forward to a bright and merry Festival of Lights 2020 here in Goderich. So remember to “Let Your Light Shine!”