The holiday season comes to London with the Lighting of the Lights

People in Victoria Park in London, Ontario with trees lit up CREDIT: CITY OF LONDON
Over 75,000 lights have been lit to mark the beginning of London’s holiday season.

London’s annual Lighting of the Lights ceremony was held Nov. 24, featuring plenty of activities to highlight the night.

“The Lighting of the Lights is really a London tradition,” said Trevor Johnson, Special Events Manager with the City of London. “Its roots actually go back to the 1950s and it’s something we celebrate each year as a moment to kick-off the holiday season.”

According to London Mayor Josh Morgan, the event acts as a way to ring in the season.

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“Since 1958, the Lighting of the Lights has marked the official start of the holiday season in London,” said Morgan.

“I can’t wait to see all the trees in Victoria Park lit up and hope it will help fill Londoners with the spirit of the holidays.”

Along with the city’s popular Santa Claus Parade, the Lighting of the Lights have become one of the city’s key holiday staples, with many Londoners making the trek to downtown London to join in on the festivities.

“It’s a great opportunity to get outside, see downtown, enjoy something a little bit different, and be with your community.”

Over 75,000 lights now illuminate the park nightly from 5 to 11 p.m. until the end of February.

The event also included food trucks, live music, and more.

Johnson said this year’s ceremony also included an important focus.

“We’re taking time to recognize the recent passing of Chris Bruinink, who was a Captain in the London Fire Department. A wellknown and highly regarded member of the force,” Johnson said.

Bruinink’s family was there to switch on the lights alongside the mayor.

The event in Victoria Park also had a free 360-degree photo booth available to capture selfies with friends and family.

With the Lighting of the Lights, other festive London events will begin as well, some of which get started right once the event ends.

“Throughout December, there’s activities all through downtown that families and individuals are invited to come down and participate in that are accessible and free for everyone. Horse and carriage rides, a number of different displays, that sort of thing. It’ll be a bustling market district and we’re looking forward to it.”