Cavalcade of Lights illuminates Toronto with tree lighting

Toronto is ready to launch into the holiday season with the 49th annual Cavalcade of Lights, which features the lighting of the city's Christmas tree highlighting a list of seasonal activities.

Nathan Phillips Square hosts festivities including fireworks, music and skating

Fireworks at Toronto City Hall on Nov. 28, 2015 3:50

Toronto is ready to launch into the holiday season with the 49th annual Cavalcade of Lights, which features the lighting of the city's Christmas tree highlighting a list of seasonal activities. 

The event is taking place Saturday at Nathan Phillips Square where Toronto's Mayor John Tory is leading the festivities. There will also be musical performances by Canadian musicians, a fireworks show and two skating parties.

If you plan on attending, you may want to give yourself plenty of time to get settled. Alok Sharma, an event supervisor with the City of Toronto, told CBC News that 15,000 people gathered for the tree lighting last year.

"We do encourage everyone to come early, find your spot, get ready for a great show, for the fireworks and stick around for Sloan," he said. "We will also have a DJ that will be spinning ... as part of a skating party."

The festivities begin at 6 p.m. with the first skating party dedicated to Disney's Frozen soundtrack, which will be followed by a holiday singing session with the Toronto Children's Chorus. 

If that doesn't get you in the holiday mood, the mayor will begin the countdown to the lighting of the city's official Christmas tree at 7:15 p.m.

Attendees will be able to catch performances by Crystal Shawanda, Ivana Santilli, Sean Jones, Sekou Lumumba and a house band following the tree lighting. The music will be followed by fireworks before Canadian rock band Sloan takes over at 8:30 p.m. with a free show. 

Bay Street closed until 10 p.m.

After all of the planned events, residents can lace up their skates for a skating party to the tunes provided by DJ Serious.

If you plan on driving into the downtown core, you might want to avoid Bay Street. The road will be closed from Queen to Dundas streets from 4 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Other roads in the area will also be shut down to accommodate the crowds. 

For a full list of what's planned this evening, check out the City of Toronto's official page

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