Vernon’s Spirit Square was aglow with the holiday spirit Saturday night.
The Vernon Winter Carnival Society kicked off its Carnival of Lights event, presented by MHC Mortgage House, at the square beside city hall Nov. 26, from 5-8 p.m.
A portion of 30th Street was closed to traffic to make way for about 35 vendors that were set up on the road at the event, which featured food trucks, artisans, crafts, games, live ice carvings and a whole lot of twinkling lights.
The lights will be turned on from 5-8 p.m. each day through to the end of December, and then they will be turned back on for the 10 days of the Vernon Winter Carnival from Feb. 3 to 12.
“We’re so excited to see this event, we’re looking forward to it growing over the years,” said Vicki Proulx, outgoing executive director for the Vernon Winter Carnival Society. “It may not be the exact same as what people remember the light up in Vernon being, but it’s amazing for Winter Carnival to show their community spirit, that’s what we’re all about.”
This year’s Carnival of Lights is bigger and better than ever, and a big step up from last year’s event which was hampered by COVID-19 restrictions.
“This is really the first time we’ve had it on this scale, and it’s awesome to see so many people out here,” said Proulx.
Local businesses were on hand giving out free stuff, or selling goods to people looking to get their Christmas shopping done early.
This is Proulx’s sixth festival and it will be her last, as Kris Fuller is replacing her as the society’s executive director.
“She’s just having the best time so far so you’ll see both of us working throughout Winter Carnival,” Proulx said.
It takes a lot of work to put on the event; Proulx said it took 20 volunteers a full day to set up all the lights.
“It takes a lot of man power, so we’re always looking for volunteers,” she said, while thanking Fox and Sons for helping them put up the lights.