As 2019 comes to a close, I’m pleased to see Bright Lights Windsor return for its third year. The free festival runs from December 6, 2019 to January 7, 2020 from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. each night. Everyone is invited to the Opening Lighting Ceremony on December 6 at 6:30 p.m. From the giant illuminated tree in the Queen Elizabeth II Sunken Gardens and the thousands of lights and a host of iconic holiday characters to the WE Made It holiday market and festive performances, Jackson Park will come alive again this season. The unifying theme of light, shared across holiday traditions of countless cultures and faiths around the world is a perfect fit for a city renowned for its multiculturalism and diversity. I’m proud of this year’s continued inclusion of local charitable organizations on-site to collect items for those less fortunate and of our new partnership with Autism Windsor Essex to offer “Silent Nights” from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Mondays. This exciting Windsor tradition brings people together in a shared space where magic is possible and memories are made.
Speaking of magic ... Willistead Manor’s Holiday Tours, with the Friends of Willistead’s holiday display, take place Sundays (December 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays (December 4 & 18) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This year, the manor partners with Thyme To-Go, snapd Windsor and AM580 for three "Breakfast with Santa" events on select Sundays. Regular tour tickets are available at the door. Tickets for the breakfasts are required in advance through thymetogo.ca.
Windsor City Council wraps up our Ward Meetings this month with the Ward 7 meeting on December 4. These meetings are excellent opportunities to get involved in your community, and to help set its priorities. Details are at citywindsor.ca.
Visit Museum Windsor’s Chimczuk Museum for your last chance to see the travelling exhibition Cipher | Decipher on loan from Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation. The museum also offers scavenger hunts, holiday themed crafts and a search for Jack Frost activity during its Holiday Break Schedule. Details are at museumwindsor.ca.
Windsor Fire & Rescue’s Annual Teddy Bear Toss takes place December 15 at the WFCU Centre. Join the firefighters during the Windsor Spitfires vs. London Knights home game to support this initiative, with all collected teddy bears being distributed to children and families in our community during the holidays. Visit sparkystoydrivewindsor.com for details.
While Roseland Golf & Curling Club offers a free learn to curl clinic on December 15. Tim Hortons, one of Windsor’s generous year-round partners continues offering free swim and free skate events at the WFCU Centre, Capri Pizzeria Recreation Complex and Forest Glade Arena. For swim and skate dates and times, check out the Events Listing.
Adventure Bay Family Water Park continues its own holiday tradition hosting the popular New Year’s Eve at Adventure Bay event on December 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit adventurebay.ca for details.
As winter continues, we encourage residents to sign up to be a Snow Angel. This voluntary snow removal service for senior citizens and persons with physical disabilities attempts to match volunteers with residents in their neighbourhoods requiring assistance. It’s a great way to get fit and make a difference. Call 311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, if you’re planning to apply to the City of Windsor's Arts, Culture & Heritage Fund (ACHF) grant program in 2020, the application intake dates have been set and are at achfwindsor.ca. This program has awarded $523,200 in grant funding to 220 arts, culture and heritage projects in Windsor.
To learn more about the events and activities coming to Windsor-Essex this December, visit citywindsor.ca, activewindsor.ca, snapdwindsor.com, visitwindsoressex.com, and our Winter-Spring 2019/2020 Activity Guide (out now).
Happy Holidays, everyone.
Mayor Drew Dilkens
City of Windsor