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Friday, November 16, 2012

It's time for the Northern Lights

Owen Sound | by Daryl Morris  

The Festival of Northern Lights begins tonight and it's said to be bigger and better.

You've likely noticed the displays going up around downtown Owen Sound.

The Festival of Northern Lights will be ready to light up the Scenic City with a holiday glow on Friday night.

Festival Chair Doug McKee says volunteers have been logging thousands of hours to put together the light displays and tonight's opening night.

McKee says they received a 30 thousand dollar Trillium grant this year and have used that to add about 30 new displays and five thousand bulbs.

He says they've added lights around the harbour, so you will see displays from Harrison Park all the way up to the new Medical Centre on 1st Avenue West.

Tonight's opening celebrations will start at 5:45 PM at the new bandshell across from the library.

It will include live entertainment, and what McKee says is the largest fireworks display the festival has ever put on.

The switch will be thrown around 7:15 PM, by the grandchildren of the Vice-Chair of the Board, Larry McCarthy, who passed away suddenly in the fall.

The night will continue with entertainment, games, and vendors at the Farmer's Market where a huge tent will also be set up.

Both 1st Avenues East and West will be closed that night for wagon rides.

And the night coincides with Owen Sound's Moonlight Magic -- where all the downtown stores are open until 11 PM for shopping.

McKee says this is a huge festival for the city, that brings about $400,000 into the local economy through tourism.

The overall budget for the festival this year is $156,000, including the $30,000 Ontario Trillium Fund grant.


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