Downtown Napanee will be basking in the glow of over 700,000 LED bulbs on Nov. 16 when the town officially flips the switch for another holiday season at the 2018 Big Bright Light Show Block Party.
Festivities will get underway a bit earlier this year, kicking off at 4:30 p.m. and running until 8 p.m. The switch will be thrown to illuminate the lights just after 7 p.m. Once turned on, store fronts along the downtown core from Robert Street all the way to the Gibbard building will glow, as well as the L&A Mutual Insurance building on Mill Street.
This will mark the first year the Gibbard building, future home of the Gibbard District, will be participating in the Bright Lights. Both Conservation and Springtide Parks will also be lit up, with the giant singing Christmas tree returning to Conservation Park.
Prior to the official launch, there will be plenty of family friendly activities going on throughout Dundas Street throughout the evening of Nov. 16.
“We have Trinity United Choir to do some carolling throughout the streets,” said Annie Manion, Greater Napanee’s economic development co-ordinator. “We have a BeaverTail truck coming and we also have Cedar Crest Catering, they’ll have a food truck on site as well.”
For the kids in attendance, town staff will be handing out coupons for free hot chocolate, which can be redeemed at Coffee Cravings or Ellena’s Cafe that night. D.J. Digital Mike will also be spinning Christmas tunes all night long for entertainment.
An earlier start will allow guests to visit some of the downtown shops while they await the grand finale, the countdown to the illumination. Motorists are asked to clear Dundas Street by 3 p.m. as the town will begin blocking off the road to vehicular traffic. Millen Trucking will once again provide the stage, which will be set up at the corner of Dundas Street and John Street, where a handful of speeches will be made throughout the evening.
Napanee’s Salvation Army will also be kicking off its 2018 Kettle Campaign that night as well and will be accepting donations to help those less fortunate this time of year.
Following the Nov. 16 launch, the downtown lights will come on every night until Jan. 6.
Along with the downtown core, homeowners can help brighten the town by entering the Big Bright Light Show Home Edition, which returns for another year. Anyone taking part can submit an online form by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. This year’s themes are Classic Christmas and Chaotic Christmas. Those that register will have their home judged on Dec. 17, with the top three homes winning $200, $100 and $50 respectively. The town will also be listing all the participating homes on a map on its website, so residents can take their own driving tour to see all the creative designs.
Also coming up is the town’s annual Indoor Holiday Market, which will run Nov. 24 at the Lafarge Banquet Hall inside the Strathcona Paper Centre from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On Dec. 1 the Santa Claus arrives for the annual Greater Napanee Parade of Lights, which departs from NDSS at 5:30 p.m.