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Brighter than ever

Botanical Garden holiday tradition back for fourth year

Now in it’s fourth year, the Merry and Bright Holiday Light Festival at Memorial University’s Botanical Garden has become a holiday tradition for families and friends across the Avalon Peninsula.

Preparation for the event begins months in advance and takes a lot of effort: a team of 12 designs the spaces, builds the structures and buys and replaces lights, says Kim Shipp, director of the garden.

Dec. 4-22

“Our amazing team will then spend about seven weeks hanging lights to show off the garden at its winter best,” said Ms. Shipp. “Not to be forgotten is the significant volunteer effort that also makes this annual holiday festival a success. Our wonderful volunteers spend hours and hours over the festival lighting candles, greeting guests, parking cars, not to mention staffing the bonfire!”

In addition to creating holiday memories for attendees, the Merry and Bright Holiday Light Festival is an important fundraiser for the garden.

This year the Botanical Garden is pleased to announce that Scotia Wealth Management has partnered with them as the presenting sponsor. This significant commitment will allow the festival to welcome more guests and run continuously from Dec. 4-22.

The puffin display at the Merry and Bright Holiday Light Festival.
Photo: Submitted

“We are delighted to have Scotia Wealth Management as our partners this year and look forward to exceeding expectations for this event for both our sponsors and our guests,” said Ms. Shipp. “Each year, we try to reinvent the displays and flow, while keeping some of the treasured features that guests have come to enjoy, like the caterpillar of light.”

With well over 60,000 lights, hundreds of glowing candles and other festival highlights that include giant, sparkling puffins and a newly animated rock garden, designed by students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the approximately 45-minute casual stroll through the garden’s winter wonderland will be an enchanting one.

Get tickets

Last year the festival saw almost 17,000 people. This year, the garden is on track to welcome even more, thanks to the extended schedule.

The caterpillar of light is a hit with festival goers.
Photo: Submitted

Tickets for the Merry and Bright Holiday Light Festival are available online with limited quantities available at the door. Group rates are also available for groups of 10 or more.

For tickets or more information, please visit the Botanical Garden online.

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