430 lanterns make Hamilton's east end glow red

To see the specatcle, head to the Pipeline Trail between Province and Graham streets this week.

Crown Point hosting city's first ever DeLight Festival

Volunteers hang more than 400 Chinese lanterns hang over the Pipeline Trail on Sunday as part of the new DeLight festival. (Fatima Mesquita)

It's an unusual sight in the drabness of winter — 430 red lanterns dangling over an east-end trail, each with a personal dedication.

But that's exactly what people will find in Crown Point this week as the neighbourhood holds its first-ever DeLight Festival, which starts Sunday.

More than 75 volunteers have pitched in to hang hundreds of Chinese lanterns on the Pipeline Trail between Province and Graham streets.

The lantern dedications range from "Sing to lighten your way" (from the Hamilton Sings! community choir) to "In memory of my father, Bernie."

The spectacle's origins date back to last year, when Fatima Mesquita and Nic Li attended the Hamilton Community Foundation's Neighbourhood Leadership Institute.

'It's just for the beauty and the pleasure of it'

Their goal was to come up with an event that would highlight the Chinese community and bring the broader neighbourhood together. More people came on board, Mesquita said, and DeLight Fest was born.

"It's just for the beauty and the pleasure of it," she said.

The Pipeline Trail between Province and Graham streets is lit with lanterns between Feb. 14 and 23 for the DeLight Festival. (William Mehlenbacher/Twitter)
It hasn't been easy. Each lantern has several little pieces to assemble, which volunteers spent all weekend doing. All told, it's "about 10,000 little pieces to put together," Mesquita said on Sunday. 

The group also constructed wooden structures that span the trail, and the lanterns hang from them.

The display ends on Feb. 23. The lights are on from 6:30 to 11 p.m.

About 200 of the lanterns are sponsored, although Mesquita hopes more people spend $15 to sponsor one at delightfest.ca

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