Holiday Throwback: Bright Lights Festival

Posted on : Tuesday, November 23, 2021


Today, we’d like to take a look back in time at the “Bright Lights Festival” that previously took place in Downtown Lethbridge during the holiday season!  


This initiative was in partnership with many amazing organizations such as Visit Lethbridge, The Heart of Our City, the LNRA, and the Allied Arts Council. This initiative made its debut in the year 2000 and was held in the Galt Gardens. The Bright Lights Festival featured both contemporary and traditional Holiday activities such as hayrides, pictures with Santa, complimentary popcorn, cider, hot chocolate, ice carving demonstrations, and public art displays. Participating businesses also had the opportunity to take part in “Midnight Madness” which saw multiple businesses keep their doors open late into the evening. In more recent editions of this festival, movie showings also took place at the King of Trade. 


Originally planned as a one-day celebration taking place on a Friday, the Bright Lights Festival was expanded to a two-day festival in 2017. In 2019, this event was retired and replaced by “Heart of the Holidays”, a new extended holiday initiative. Heart of the Holidays would instead encompass five weeks of activities rather than 1–2-day events seen in previous years. This new initiative would additionally hold a more significant focus on ensuring the people of Lethbridge could enjoy Downtown over the holidays and support local businesses. This change was also motivated by the events of the Bright Lights Festival in the year before that saw an early morning snowstorm put a damper on the event. 


This year, people all over Lethbridge can look forward to multiple events, giveaways, and initiatives over the holiday season. This includes the Downtown Holiday Gift Guide, the Outdoor Holiday Market on Nov 27th, the return of Downtown Holiday Small Business Boxes, Black Friday giveaways and prizes, and more surprises to come. 


Stay tuned for more holiday fun!