This Sparkly Holiday Festival In Ontario Illuminates A Small Town & Has Free Carriage Rides

Enjoy live music as the town lights up.✨

Staff Writer
A small town street with a canopy of Christmas lights.

A small town street with a canopy of Christmas lights.

You'll feel like you're walking into a giant twinkly snow globe when visiting this small-town holiday festival in Ontario.

The Candlelight Festival in Port Hope has an assortment of festive events including a candlelight walk, a park lighting ceremony, a festival of trees and free carriage rides.

The Christmas events kick off on November 25 with the candlelight walk, and run until January 2.

You can join in on singing carols at the candlelight walk which starts outside of Our Lady of Mercy Church. It concludes at Memorial Park where you can enjoy live music playing in the bandshell as the park is lit up with Christmas lights.

Everyone is welcome to bring their own light sources like a torch or a battery-operated candle. Flame candles will be available by donation at the start of the walk, while supplies last.

There will be a new art projection this year and the details of what it looks like are being kept hush-hush. Local shops will be open later for moonlight shopping and you can also browse a holiday market and enjoy festive eats during this kick-off festival event. The following day is the town's Santa Claus parade at 1 p.m.

You can take a magical horse-drawn carriage ride through the downtown area on Saturdays during the festival. The pick-up spot is at the Walton Street Bridge and it is a free activity.

You can also visit the Capitol Theatre for its Festival of Lights and Trees and stay for a performance of Sleeping Beauty: A Panto Awakening. The theatre is filled with decorated Christmas trees that you can admire for a few weeks before the trees are raffled off as part of a fundraiser.

Port Hope Candlelight Festival

Price: Free

When: Various events from November 25, 2022, to January 2, 2023

Address: Multiple locations in Port Hope, ON

Why You Need To Go: You can visit a quaint small town that comes alive with lights and festive displays during the holiday season.


Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

Megan Johnson
Staff Writer
Megan Johnson was a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada's Ontario Desk focused on new netflix shows in Canada and things to do in Ottawa. She is based in Ottawa, Ontario.