Owen Sound Lights

This town near Toronto has an epic 25km holiday lights display

Winter light festivals have been getting hotter, bigger and more elaborate in recent years thanks (in part) to how incredible they look on Instagram.

But, while there are some really cool-looking new illuminations planned in and around Toronto this year, "newer" doesn't always mean "better."

Case in point: the Festival of Northern Lights in Owen Sound.

Singing snowmen. - - - #festivalofnorthernlights #singing #christmaslights #simplyhavingawonderfulchristmastime

A post shared by Jody Johnson Pettit (@jodyjp) on

Created all the way back in 1987, this impressive holiday lights event has grown from an annual community tradition into a must-see spectacle of next-level illuminated art.

Hundreds of local volunteers come together each year, according to the event's website, to set up nearly 400 displays and 25+ kilometres of lights to illuminate the city's harbour, riverbanks, downtown core, and Harrison Park.

They've got everything from horse-drawn sleigh rides and skiing santas to gigantic dragons made of light.

This year, the Festival of Northern Lights is celebrating its 30th anniversary with an opening celebration on Sat., Nov. 18 starting at 3 p.m. ET.

The lights will go on at 7 p.m. sharp and remain on daily between 5 and 10 p.m. until Sunday Jan. 7.

You can enjoy the beauty of the light festival as well as Owen Sound itself. It's two a half hours north of Toronto, but given its proximity to Blue Mountain and other attractions around Grey County, it's the prefect destination for a cold weather getaway.

Lead photo by

Owen Sound Festival of Northern Lights


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