Christmas on the Square Holiday Light Up 2009

I’ve been looking forward to the Holiday Light Up celebration for a while – with a fireworks show actually choreographed to music, and warmer temperatures than on New Year’s Eve, I wonder why it isn’t the city’s most popular event. And with family-friendly activities precluding the light-up, in addition to City Centre Market vendors, it makes for a great few hours spent in the core.

Christmas carollers on stage

Sleigh rides around City Hall were pretty popular with the children, and the Art Gallery of Alberta had a tent promoting their new logo and grand opening in January 2010. We also checked out the vendors on hand (whose heated tents were better spaced out this year).

Inside the Art Gallery of Alberta tent

Mack as Vanna White

At 5pm, everyone readied for the grand finale – two children, alongside Mayor Mandel and Santa Claus, flipped a giant light switch to power up the Christmas lights. The tree, from Whitecourt, AB, stands at sixty feet, and this year, features animated icicle lights that make it appear as if snow is falling from the tree – pretty neat.

The crowd for the main event

Ready for the light-up

All lit up

The light switch that made it happen

The fireworks that followed were fantastic as expected, with flares and sparks released in time to cymbals crashing and trumpets blaring. If you haven’t yet experienced the show, I would encourage you to attend next year.


Notably missing this year were the small Bright Nights displays that have been a fixture on the Square during the holiday season for the past few years. I guess the cancellation of the Hawrelak Park Bright Nights also meant the necessary retiring of all related decorations. The few inflatable displays they had on the east side of the Square really weren’t the same.

I’m counting down the days to Christmas already, but this was a great event to help kick off the season!

You can see Mack’s photo set here.

4 thoughts on “Christmas on the Square Holiday Light Up 2009

  1. What a super event! Thanks for sharing your pictures Sharon. I was hoping to take my niece, that is, before I sprained my ankle.

    One more thing, where is your purple, green and mauve scarf from? It’s lovely!

  2. Dajana – there’s always next year! Hope you’re feeling better soon. I got the scarf from Avenue Clothing Company on Whyte – they’ve got a pretty good selection there.

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