ESTEVAN — Woodlawn Regional Park is bringing the community together once again for a holiday celebration.
The annual Festival of Lights will officially start with Christmas in the Park – an afternoon of fun activities which will come to an end with fireworks at 6:30 p.m. and the first light-up of the displays at dusk.
Christmas in the Park is slated for Dec. 17 from 3:30-6:30 p.m. with activities happening in and around Doug Third Hall at Woodlawn. The free event will offer hot dogs and hot chocolate, road hockey with Estevan Great North U18 AAA Bears, photos with Santa, a winter campfire, horse and wagon rides and Christmas crafts with the Estevan Art Gallery and Museum.
The Festival of Lights will run Dec. 17-Jan. 1, starting at dusk every night. People are invited to drive or walk through about 50 lit-up creative displays built by local businesses, community organizations and individuals. Admission is free, and donations are welcome at the exit of displays.
Park manager Maureen Daoust said a few participants took a break this year, but several people were joining the event, so as of the end of November, they were on par with last year.
The duration of the festival was shortened due to a lack of volunteer availability.
"It's a lot of work for our volunteers because we have somebody that goes down every night to make sure that everything is up and running. And then we usually have somebody that goes down later in the night to collect the donations, etc. So, because we're limited with volunteers, we had to cut it short," Daoust explained.
She noted that the park is working on a new feature this year, setting up a music accompaniment for the event.
"We don't have everything in place yet, but we bought an FM transmitter so that when people come into the park, they can tune into a station and there will be a loop playing with Christmas music and potentially greetings from some of the participants," Daoust said. "We've been working on [music] the last couple of years … We have most of the equipment here, we just have to get it installed and ready to go. We have the next month to make sure that everything's up and running. We just wanted to add a new feature."
The park is still accepting applications to set up a display, and if anyone is interested in promoting what they do while also entertaining others during the holiday season, they can reach out to Daoust via email at email@example.com.