By MAGGIE M, Editor, thewedge.LIVE ❤️ To Share This Story Scroll to the End and Click Your Buttons
This writer attended a fantastic Friday evening in Perth–one filled with immersive sights and sounds beyond my expectations. This event, The Festival of Lights, ushered in the Christmas holidays with a “bang”–literally.
On arrival, I struggled with a bolt on my spotlight. A polar bear and his sidekick lent a hand to no avail. They attempted to convince me to attend the annual Perth Polar Bear Plunge (locals drop into the freezing water in their bathing suits) for a good cause, The Table Community Food Centre. I will try to attend and capture the event on video this January 1st. You will not see me out of my winter gear–I will be hiding behind my camera.
Meanwhile, a soft chorus of voices–several hundred–were joined beautifully in Christmas carols. They were led by The Men and Women of The Tay. It was dark and my lone spotlight shone above their heads–like a guiding star. This was to be a charming prelude to a spectacle uncharacteristic of a small town of 5,840.
Inside the Crystal Palace a great sight awaited all : the lighting of over 42 Christmas trees and Christmas displays. The crescendo of the Festival, a pyrotechnics extravaganza, would come first. Many visitors scurried in advance to position themselves for a good vantage point along the river.
Suddenly, fireworks burst over our heads by the Tay Canal. The “pop pop pop” and whirly sounds were joined by the crowd’s cathartic “ooohs and aaahs”. (See our video below. Keep your eyes on the skies for multiple “pearl necklaces.”)
On the heels of the fireworks, the Crystal Palace was alighted. The darkness was gone and the Palace sparkled with lights and smiles. Over 300 visitors meandered through admiring each tree. It was a beautiful close to an excitement packed event.
“The Perth BIA was thrilled by the huge turnout last night of over 350 people. It was heartwarming to hear the beautiful voices of the Men and Women of the Tay leading our community in song as we sang Christmas carols. This event brings people of all ages together to celebrate Christmas,” states Kari Clarke, Head of Downtown Perth BIA.
This is a joint event by the Downtown Heritage Perth BIA and the Town of Perth. The event also included a bonfire by the Perth Firefighters Association, delicious food by The Table ( our community food bank ), wonderful caroling by the Men and Women of the Tay, and the Town Crier, Brent McLaren, opened the event. The Hinton Auto Group Build a Mountain of Food Christmas parade truck decorated with over 3000 lights was on-hand to accept donations for the food bank.
“The Perth BIA appreciates and thanks all of the community groups that came together to create a magical evening of celebration that culminated with spectacular fireworks over the Tay River,” Clarke concludes.
And here a video look at the event by The Wedge:
Open Hours at Crystal Palace to view the trees and manger: Dec 2nd – 4:30 – 6 p.m., Dec. 7-9th, 5-7 p.m., Dec 14-16th , 5-7 p.m., Dec. 21-23rd , 5-7 p.m., Dec. 26 – 30th, 5-7 p.m.