Windsor

Work on Bright Lights festival begins

More lights this year at annual Bright Lights Windsor, fencing off to be phased in to keep park as accessible as possible.

Fence barricades going up in phases

Bright Lights festival to be bigger and feature new displays this year. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

This year's Bright Lights Windsor festival in Jackson Park is promising to be bigger and brighter than last year's.

The city will spend the second half of the $3 million earmarked for the Christmas light display by city council in 2017.

"We have expanded the footprint in the park by about three times the size it was last year," said Jan Wilson, director of Parks and Recreation.

Wilson remains tight-lipped about the details of some of the new features.

"I'd like to have some surprise as we lead into this festival," she says, alluding to changes such as a children's area this year.

"There's going to be an interactive feature there," said Wilson.

Jan Wilson, director, Parks and Recreation Department (Dale Molnar/CBC)

Crews began putting up fencing and the first section of the giant Christmas tree on Monday.

Wilson said they're trying to keep as much of the park open to the public during the setup period as possible.

"We're doing it in phases so we don't have to close the whole park off all at once," said Wilson, adding the pathways will be kept open as long as possible prior to the final setup of the display which will take place a week or two before opening day December 7.

Wilson said the displays will be removed in phases once the festival is over, so the parts of the park will be opened up in phases rather than the entire festival area being closed off for the whole tear down.

Wilson said the city is seeking food and artist vendors with which to contract to create a vendor's market.

"We're very excited to have a holiday market feel as part of the festival this year," said Wilson.

There will not be a horse drawn carriage this or entertainers.

The festival opens December 7 with a tree lighting ceremony and will continue until mid January.

A detailed schedule is not yet available.

About the Author

Dale Molnar

Video Journalist

Dale Molnar is an award-winning video journalist at CBC Windsor. He is a graduate of the University of Windsor and has worked in television, radio and print.