Record Numbers for Bright Lights

Time is running out if you want to visit Windsor's Bright Lights Festival.

The month long festival, which opened Friday, December 7th wraps up Sunday, January 6th.

Windsor's Initiatives Co-ordinator Michelle Staadegaard says the Jackson Park festival has seen record numbers compared to last year.

"On average we have had from Monday to Thursday, we have 1,000 people each night and on weekends, upwards of 6,000 people on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night," she says.  "It has been wonderful and we have had a great response from the community."

More than 60,000 people visited the inaugural festival last year.

The footprint of the festival tripled in size due to public response and included a train along with artisans and food vendors.

"The vendors, they have had a really great experience and the artisans did really really well. The food vendors sold out some evenings on Fridays or Saturday.  Everyone wants to come back next year and everyone wants to see it expanded next year."

The biggest disappointment was the lack of snow which Staadegaard acknowledges is beyond anyone's control.

"That is the one thing we could not control.  From a logistical standpoint, it was great. But from a magical standpoint it was disappointing, we live in Windsor-Essex and one of the southern points in all of Canada."

This year saw over 55 vendors rotate on Friday and Saturday nights for the month of December.

Staadegaard says the final numbers will only be known after the festival wraps up. 

She says a survey will go out to get response on what people liked and didn't like.

Last year, $3 million was budgeted for the initial plans for the festival, but only half of that amount was spent.