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Bloomfield’s festival of lights sparkled brightly

Story and photos by Sharon Harrison
The street was aglow and festive tunes filled the air as families and friends gathered as Bloomfield lit up Friday night.

Thousands stood curbside to watch the colourfully illuminating parade wend its way through the village, taking in the joyous atmosphere on what is considered a favourite, long-standing tradition known as the festival of lights.

There was much to keep folks entertained before the parade got under way. A micro circus show performed various acts and tricks, much to the amazement of the young rapt audience, some of whom were chosen to participate in some of the circus tricks.

Most stores, several with impressive festive window displays, were open for business for those wanting to get some Christmas shopping completed. It also meant a warm place to go on the chilly, but calm night.

The Bloomfield Town Hall served hot chocolate and chilli, also offering a welcome seat for those in need, and a few vendors served food along the closed street. Bloomfield United Church belted out festive tunes to add to the Christmassy mood, and there were horse-drawn wagon rides too.

Parade participants mustered at Shannon Road as the parade began at Stanley Street, continuing along Main to just past Prinzen Ford at County Road 32.

While no one seems to know for sure how long the parade has been a feature in Bloomfield, it has always been a nighttime parade –and is the County’s only nighttime parade— where it is believed to have been around for about 25 years.

Many floats were lit up, some had music – some piped, some live; there were many handing out candy and goodies, and even carrots, from Hagerman Farms. There were big rigs, humungous farm equipment, horses, and a penny farthing bicycle. There were marching bands, a concert band, a steel drum band among many.

As the glitz and the shimmering bright lights bedazzled young and old, the last float, chaperoned by the Queen’s University marchers and band, was, of course, Santa himself, who dropped in from the North Pole to visit this little village community on the day it shines brightest.


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