'Something the community needs': Holiday Lights Extravaganza to continue into January 2021

·2 min read

The streets of Orangeville will have a festive glow for a little longer this year as the holiday season stretches into January.

With the pandemic resulting in the cancellation of traditional Christmas events in the town, such as the Santa Claus Parade, those responsible for the celebrations had to get creative.

The result was the Holiday Lights Extravaganza, which officially began on Nov. 22 and includes a number of brilliant light displays around Orangeville, with a digital (GIS) map for self-guided tours.

“It’s very much something the community needs,” Coun. Debbie Sherwood said at an October council meeting, when the idea was presented.

Orangeville Town Hall, Alexandra Park, the Orangeville Public Library and the Broadway Medians will be boasting light displays to ignite the spirit of the season. Additionally, Alder Recreation Centre, Tony Rose Memorial Sports Centre and the Visitor Information Centre will also be part of the Extravaganza.

At the Oct. 19 meeting where the idea was presented, members of council shared their approval of the idea, praising the creativity of staff and all involved.

“Whatever magic you were able to pull out of whatever bag it was, you’ve done well,” said Coun. Joe Andrews.

He noted that this event, as well as having Santa travel around town in the vintage Bickle fire truck, is needed to boost morale at a time when there is so much uncertainty.

“We have to come up with different ways to bring our community together,” he said.

Along with the bright streetscapes from the town, residents and businesses are also able to add their displays to the map.

With no funding required for a parade this year, additional funds were provided for the Extravaganza, including $20,000 each from the Orangeville Business Improvement Area and Orangeville council. Contributions of lights, displays and volunteers were also provided by the Optimist Club of Orangeville.

The Holiday Lights Extravaganza will run until Jan. 8, 2021. To add your holiday display to the GIS digital map, visit the map page.

Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner