Upper Canada Village's "Alight at Night" holiday festival is back. The 19th-century site will be illuminated with 1 million lights and transform into what a press release calls an "enchanted winter wonderland."
In addition to this twinkling spectacle of colour, the village will host the toy workshop of a "Victorian Saint Nick" and a "Sound and Light Show" at its Crysler Hall.
Freshly baked bread will await visitors in the village store.
Timed tickets to Alight at Night are on sale now on the Parks of the St. Lawrence website.
Admission is $15 per adult.
The festival is on from Thursday to Sunday between November 26 and December 16, and then seven nights a week through January 1 — with the exception of December 24 and 25, when the site will be closed.
Alight at Night is, of course, just one holiday event Montrealers can choose from this year.
A less luminous but perhaps equally charming Christmas village is opening right here in Quebec, at Drummondville's Village d'Antan.
The 25,000-light event will have street performers and roadside activities as well as treats for sale from its own old-timey general store and donut shop.
Antan will also showcase local creators and artisans at its Christmas market.
Get the details on the Village d'Antan event here and Upper Canada Village's Alight at Night festival below.
Alight At Night "Enchanted Winter Wonderland" At Upper Canada Village
Where: Upper Canada Village, 13740 County Road 2, Morrisburg, ON
5-10 p.m. Thursday to Sunday, November 26 to December 16
5-10 p.m. every day, December 16 to January 1
Closed December 24 and 25
Why You Need To Go: To stroll among the holiday lights in this decked-out old-timey village.
Coming to Quebecers live from a youth-filled vaccination clinic in Chaudière-Appalaches, Premier Legault reiterated that, as long as the COVID-19 situation allows for it, the government wants to loosen gathering rules so that 20 to 25 people are allowed in our homes for the holidays.
Le premier ministre r\u00e9pond aux questions des journalistes.\n \nSuivez notre m\u00eal\u00e9e de presse en direct https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1vAxRkjLWPzKl\u00a0\u2026
"We know that there are many families — when we look at the brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces — who exceed the 10 people. [...] So we hope to be able, for Christmas, for New Year's, to have families a little enlarged to 20, 25 people," he said. "Right now, it's going very well on the hospitalization side."
While Legault didn't set anything in stone, he did say the success of Quebec's youth vaccination campaign is increasing our chances to host more loved ones over the holidays. He noted that 240,000 young people aged 11 to 15 — 37% — have already booked an appointment or gotten a vaccine dose, which he called "a good start."
"By adding these 240,000 children who will be vaccinated, it will help to have coverage in our society. It will help us to give ourselves the chance that during the holiday season, we will be able to increase to 20, 25 the number of people in our homes," he said.
For now, Legault said the government and public health are "following the situation closely from day to day." He said Dr. Horacio Arruda, Quebec's director of public health, is set to make an official recommendation about holiday gatherings next week.
Legault added that there are no plans to add restrictions if there's a significant case increase. He said it's important to look at hospitalizations, which are currently "under control."
"I repeat to all Quebecers, be careful between now and Christmas so that we can give ourselves the maximum chance to have reasonably-sized parties during the holiday season," Legault said.
The event, which is being held at Laval's Centre de la nature, will begin on the first Friday of December and will run for two weekends only, on the weekends of December 3 to 5 and December 10 to 12, 2021.
You'll be able to hit this holiday market on Fridays and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This village of little houses, where you can walk around with a hot drink between your mittens, will bring together more than 60 artisans to discover.
Decorative items, body care, gourmet pleasures, jewelry and more will be on sale by local businesses. You can take advantage of this opportunity to stock up on gifts for your family and discover new local artists and businesses.
If you want to light up and decorate your living room for the holidays, you can visit the selection of natural trees for sale. There's nothing like the fresh smell of pine to warm your heart and make you want to binge-watch a ton of Christmas movies.
Food booths will also be present so you can fill up on snacks while shopping. Vaccine passports and face coverings are not required for the outdoor portions of this activity. They are mandatory, however, in the Heat Zone tent.
The city has been trying hard to get people to come into downtown Montreal for their holiday shopping. So, in an effort to get people into shops, Montreal's Ville-Marie borough announced that it will make street parking totally free on evenings and weekends throughout the holiday season.
"We hope that many Montrealers will come to support our downtown merchants for their holiday shopping. Our merchants give the city its special colours and flavours. After another year marked by the pandemic, they need our support more than ever," Mayor Valérie Plante said in a press release.
Even those giant, unsettling inflatable nutcrackers are back on rue Sainte-Catherine to stare at you with their vacant gaze.
"Downtown merchants are delighted that on-street parking is free on evenings and weekends for holiday shopping," said Glenn Castanheira, general manager of SDC Montréal Centre-Ville.
"The downtown area has been hit hard by the pandemic and this measure is in addition to a series of initiatives aimed at promoting economic recovery, including festive programming in collaboration with the City of Montreal and our partners."
Street parking will be free in downtown Montreal on weeknights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m and on weekends, from December 3, 2021, to January 2, 2022.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
"The question I've heard the most in the last few weeks: What's coming for the holidays? [...] Given the increase in cases, I understand we do not want to do what we did last year and be forced to backtrack, so we will give ourselves a little more time to see how the situation goes," Premier Legault said at a press conference on November 23. "We are confident that we should be able to increase the number of people in homes."
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In 2020, the provincial government announced that holiday gatherings would be allowed between December 24 to 27, but later changed its mind and cancelled Christmas gatherings due to the spread of the virus.
With that in mind, it's no surprise public health has decided to wait and continue to study the situation before recommending changes to health measures.
It's also no surprise that Premier Legault's hopeful holiday news came with a word of warning.
"Please, by Christmas, can we respect the instructions? [...] If we don't respect the basic rules by Christmas, we won't help ourselves so that we can relax these measures during the holiday season," he said.
Currently, a maximum of 10 people from different addresses or the occupants of three households are allowed to gather privately in homes throughout Quebec. This number goes up to 20 for outdoor gatherings on private property.
This article’s right-hand cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.