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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

A bigger and brighter River Lights held in Amherstburg

by Julianna Bonnett 

This weekend, a well-known tradition that has helped many families experience a little taste of the holiday season early was hosted in Amherstburg.

  The 2019 edition of the River Lights Winter Festival kicked off this Saturday with hundreds of people participating in the associated activities that took place, including the ERCA Super Santa Run, the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, and fireworks at the square.

  Jennifer Ibrahim, Tourism Coordinator for the Town of Amherstburg, said this year’s event includes a lot more than it has ever had before.

  “We were filled with joy when we found out that over 500 people are participating in our ERCA Santa Run this year,” Ibrahim said. “We are bringing so much to the festival this year, since we were given a grant of around $250,000, which helps us add more lights and decorations to the show.”

  Back in September, Amherstburg Council received a grant from the Canadian Experiences Fund, which is provided by the federal government through FedDev Ontario. After receiving the grant, Amherstburg Council was able to move forward with adding more light effects and decorations to the Winter Festival.

  “We have been running this event for almost 12-years, and every year we want to add something special. And luckily, we were able to make it bigger and better this year for all families to enjoy,” Ibrahim commented.

  The tree lighting ceremony kicked off at 6 p.m., with many locals in attendance, including Mayor of Amherstburg Aldo DiCarlo.

  According to Mayor DiCarlo, he was surprised to see how many participated in the events that took place this weekend.

  “I was so pleased to not only see how many participated in our Santa Run, but to see how many people love the tradition that we’ve been celebrating for years,” DiCarlo said. “It really has a way of bringing families together.”

  The River Light Winter Festival will run everyday from November 16 to February 15, 2020.

  For more information, log onto


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