Amherstburg's River Lights Festival returns this winter


Amherstburg's River Lights Festival is back this winter. 

The opening night festivities kick off on Saturday, November 18. 

After a three-year hiatus, the Gingerbread Warming House is returning, which will be ready to greet visitors with free hot chocolate, custom-designed gingerbread houses and holiday crafts for kids. 

Families can also enjoy an outdoor movie, the giant tree lighting ceremony and fireworks along the waterfront. 

Opening Night festivities on November 18 begin at 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. And the River Lights will shine brightly from November 18 to January 8, 2024.

Anne Rota, Manager of Tourism and Culture for the Town of Amherstburg. says the tree lighting ceremony will kick off the festival.

"Then we do open up that Gingerbread Warming House, where folks can come after that every single weekend, free hot chocolate, and the gingerbread house contest also produces usually we get about 50 entries of these amazing creations."


Amherstburg's River Lights Festival returns this winter. November 1, 2023 (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Town of Amherstburg website)

She says those who attend will notice some new additions. 

"We're going to be adding some pretty substantial, new, very big photo op displays. So, River Lights is just so cute. Bundle up with your family, friends, you walk downtown and it's pretty magical."

Rota says everyone is very excited. 

"When the list showed up and all of our contractors to say 'hey, you know what, we're ready to get this baby rolling'. And the lights display is up, yes, we are pumped."

The event is sponsored by Enbridge and the Government of Ontario.

The event will begin following the Essex Region Conservation Authority's Super Santa run, which will return this year after a three-year hiatus. 

A full schedule of events for the festival can be found by clicking here.

-with files from AM800's Rob Hindi