Bright Lights Windsor Suspended due to Pandemic
City Launches New Program to Partner with BIA’s to fund Light Installations
Based on consultations with local public health officials, the City of Windsor will be unable to proceed with the traditional Bright Lights Windsor event in Jackson Park this year.
In 2019, over 100,000 residents and visitors attended over the course of the month-long festival of lights. Despite the outdoor setting of the event, the overall nature of this celebration made it logistically too difficult to consider alternatives such as ticketing to limit congregation.
As an alternative, the City of Windsor is moving forward with a special 2020 pilot project in partnership with all local Business Improvement Areas (BIA's). Each BIA will be able to access up to $20,000 to support the installation of holiday lighting across business facades. If fully subscribed, $180,000 would be put towards this effort in support of local small businesses.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Windsor has launched multiple efforts in support of local entrepreneurs:
Waived fees for sidewalk cafes and patios;
Enabled the Lanspeary Park food hall pilot;
Partnered with BIA’s to enable road closures in support of street markets, bars and restaurants;
Launched the 2020 “parklet” pilot to allow for semi-permanent structures to expand outdoor seating options;
Partnered with Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island to launch #ShopLocal and #YQGStandsStrong; and
Encouraged local residents to partake in “Takeout Tuesday”
“The summer of flexibility, brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulted in some important lessons, pilots and experiments,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. “I’ve been hearing for months about the success of these programs for businesses – I fully intend to bring forward these extended patio, parklet and food hall options again next year! The City of Windsor’s partnership with BIA’s has never been stronger – I hope that we can fully maximize the potential of the matching grant and distribute as many lights across the city as possible this season.”
Due to infrastructure and security concerns, not many of the City-owned Bright Lights Windsor installations can be repurposed or distributed for BIA use this season. However, select pieces will be displayed at municipal buildings, such as City Hall and the Windsor International Aquatic’s Centre. Additional details regarding these deployments will be released shortly.
The traditional Bright Lights Windsor festival in Jackson Park will return in 2021.
Peace Fountain Season Ends
The Charles Brooks Memorial Peace Fountain, located in the Detroit River alongside Coventry Gardens, is due to be removed from the water shortly.
Crews are removing the fountain after another summer of viewing, and we anticipate a return to service for Victoria Day 2021.
The Peace Fountain is the only international floating fountain in the world. It can propel water 70 feet in the air and displays a nightly light show from late spring to the beginning of fall.
Seasonal Parks Maintenance and Outdoor Skating
Parks staff are busy preparing for winter. Maintenance staff will be inspecting the outdoor skating facilities in Charles Clark Square and Lanspeary Park to ensure all is ready for free public skating at both locations in early December.
Information on both outdoor rinks can be found on the Skating page of the City of Windsor website.
For more information on City activities or projects, visit www.citywindsor.ca or contact 311.