Business owners hope citywide bright lights lead to more customers

·2 min read

Bright Lights Windsor is back on — but like many events during the pandemic, it's going to look different this year.

The "reimagined" event is now going to take place citywide. Signature displays, which Windsorites would normally view at Jackson Park, are now placed in different pockets of the city.

The announcement comes about a month after the City of Windsor decided to pull the plug on this year's festival because of COVID-19.

The city also announced on Monday that it gave $20,000 to each of the nine business improvement associations (BIAs) which "will be used to purchase holiday lights and displays to further light up our neighbourhoods and support local small business," — a boost that some local business owners, including Filip Rocca, the owner of Mezzo Ristorante & Lounge and president of the Erie Street BIA, say they need.

Tahmina Aziz/CBC
Tahmina Aziz/CBC

"It was a great move by the city to offer the buyers a little bit of funding to spruce up their areas. We've been wanting to do that on every street for a couple of years now. So this gave us the opportunity to pull the trigger this year and help with obviously paying for it. So we're really happy about it," Rocca said.

"Not only cosmetically it does look nicer, especially at night, but obviously, you know, a little safer for the area as well."

He said he looks forward to seeing the trees along Erie Street lit up in the coming days and hopes it drives up more customers to local businesses.

Tahmina Aziz/CBC
Tahmina Aziz/CBC

Mohammed Al Khaleel, the owner of Brothers Barber Shop on Ottawa Street, hopes this to be case for his business as well.

"It makes me feel good when people walk around the business and when people around the street," he said.

Kathy Molenaar, the owner of Victoria's Flowers and Gifts on Erie Street, said her business won't be benefiting from the light displays as the bulk of her business operates the in morning and early afternoons, but she hopes the light displays across the city "brings a lot of cheer and a lot of businesses to prosper in good ways."

Locations of light displays include:

  • Charles Clark Square

  • Chimczuk Museum

  • City Hall

  • Jackson Park

  • Mackenzie Hall

  • Ouellette Overpass

  • Transit Centre

  • WFCU Centre

  • Willistead Manor

  • Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre

Take a look at some of the holiday lights draped across the city: