The town of Summerland with its quaint old english charm and it’s love of festivals is the perfect place to host the annual holiday tradition of ‘The Festival Of Light’s. Since moving to the big city three years I have made the drive back home every winter to come to the Festival of Lights in Summerland or the Light Up as the locals call it. The charm of this event has even got my city-bred boyfriend coming back every year as well. The streets are closed off and filled with vendors, food carts and this year even popup shops. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spotted a pop up Starbucks on Summerland’s Main street this year! The townsfolk bundle up in their warmest attire and gather in the streets. The Mayor gets up on stage with the entire town together counts out loud 10, 9, 8, 7 etc. Until the Christmas lights are turned on and illuminate the streets. Cheers echo through-out the downtown core of Summerland. The Christmas carolers begin singing onstage and it is all really is as perfect as it sounds. Light Up means a little extra to my family because my father is the head of the electric department for the town. He always enjoys picking out the lights and putting them up around town with his crew. (SPOILER ALERT) The big fancy switch that the Mayor pulls on stage is actually just a prop. Someone from Summerland Power is actually listening with a cell phone waiting for the cue to hit the actual switch to turn the lights on. After everything is lit up everyone wanders the streets and enjoys the local food carts and restaurants. Later everyone gathers to watch the fireworks. It can only be described as a magical holiday event. One of my favourite parts about Light Up is obviously the food. Local restaurants set up tents and make special food items to sell on the streets that night. There are perogies made by real Baba’s, mac & cheese from gourmet restaurants , delicious poutines from a fry truck, deluxe hot chocolate, a cotton candy machine and more. This year I forgot to bring my camera so I had to use Matt (my boyfriends) ancient relic of an original iPhone. The pictures turned out a little blurry so I’ve added some of my Summerland Light Up of the pasts photos for your viewing pleasure.
One of my favourite places to eat at Light Up is the very old I.O.O.F. Hall where the sweet older ladies have a chili cook off. A couple of years ago while Matt and I were enjoying their chili; one elderly lady came up and asked him if he worked there and if he could clear their dishes for him. So he laughed and cleared the entire table for the ladies!
This year after the Light Up we all headed down to the local rink to watch the home team ‘The Summerland Steam’ play a good ol’ hockey game. It was another wonderful Summerland Festival of Lights night.