It was two degree Celsius, possible rain in the weather forecast and the H1N1 pandemic in the minds of many people but on Saturday evening thousands of Torontonians were indifferent to the above and attended the 43rd annual Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Phillips Square City Hall where Mayor David Miller presented a speech and entertainers performed classic Christmas songs for the thousands in attendance.
The city of Toronto’s Christmas tree was officially lit up as musicians Steven Page, Matt Dusk, Keshia Chante, and Fritz Helder & the Phantoms performed songs about Toronto and famous Christmas songs. As thousands were freezing, others were skating in the ice rink to the music playing and in near darkness. Others were dancing. Some were even conducting a rendition of the infamous “Star Wars” fight scene between Luc Skywalker and Darth Vader as vendors sold light sticks in the shape of a light saber.
Prior and during the event, Mayor Miller issued a written statement in a flyer handed out to visitors stating, “Presented by Scotia Bank,” which he says in his opening speech that it’s his primary bank for day-to-day transactions, “this year’s festivities will feature spectacular entertainment each Saturday night, from November 28 to December 19, while some of Toronto’s most vibrant neighborhoods and tourist attractions welcome visitors with brilliant energy-efficient LED lighting installations.”
The theme for this year’s decorations at Nathan Phillips Square, directed by famed Canadian interior decorator Brian Gluckstein, is called “All That Glitters.”
As one of the sponsors of the event, Toronto Hydro-Electric System is giving an incentive to Toronto residents. The hydro company is offering one free set of energy efficient seasonal LED lights in exchange for two sets of old, incandescent season lights.
As Miller states in his speeches, 19 neighborhoods are participating in the Cavalcade of Lights celebrations such as: Bloor-Yorkville Village
, Yonge-Dundas Square
, St. Lawrence Market, Little Italy and Rosedale Main Street.
Every Saturday the event will start at 7 p.m. and end around 8:15 p.m., which will include performances by Jully Black, State of Shock and Sabre Drive. Fireworks will also take place.