There was no shortage of Christmas spirit in Harrison Saturday night thanks to the inaugural lighting of the first ever Lights on the Lake.
Making the most of the Village’s quaint and quirky charm, Tourism Harrison announced a plan to improve winter tourism earlier this year, and if the crammed parking spots and elbow to elbow crowds in the Plaza are any indication, the plan is already working.
Over 1,000 people came out to enjoy the brand new Sasquatch-themed Christmas light display, packing the tiny Village full of tourists and locals alike. By the end of the night Tourism Harrison would go through at least 8,000 litres of hot chocolate, raising $317 for the Agassiz Harrison food bank with the profits.
Tourism Harrison’s long awaited vision had come alive. Strings of warm white, blue and red lights brought lamp posts, trees and benches to life. A willow transformed into a snowflake canopy with a radiant trunk charmed visitors, with ‘oohs and ahs’ coming from people who stepped beneath its branches.
An Instagram-lovers dreamland, the picture opportunities were endless and little ones were delighted with the Christmas village they had entered. A lit-up Sasquatch roasted marshmallows over a fire along the Lagoon and curvy-topped trees Christmas brought an essence of ‘Whoville’ to the plaza.
Displays took Tourism Harrison three days to install with help from Village staff.
Event coordinator Stephanie Gallamore was happy with the outcome.
“Over all I think everyone seemed pretty happy with the displays we had. They looked awesome,” she said.
Village mayor and council welcomed the enormous crowd to the Village and “Mr. and Mrs. Sasquatch” themselves even made an appearance.
Performances from the Kent Elementary School choir and the Gospel Brass Ministries band made sure visitors had jolly Christmas-y background music while they explored light displays.
For now, the display lights up the Plaza and sections of the Lagoon path near Esplanade Avenue, but eventually it will light up the path around the entire Lagoon and incorporate some other themes.
“We’re pretty excited for the upcoming years,” Gallamore said. “We saw a great opening. I think as long as we keep getting the word out that we have the Sasquatch-themed light display, I think people will come to come see it.”