The Festival of lights had a great turnout in 2018. They jumped from 11 participants in 2017 to 25 participants this year in 2018 and had an abundance of positive feedback from people driving through and community members as well as visitors that were around Estevan for the holidays.
"We had an overwhelming response," explains Maureen Daost, Woodlawn Regional Park Manager, "we did have a road counter in place, but unfortunately it appeared to stop working or functioning about halfway through. It got packed with snow and wasn't doing its job properly, so live and learn for next year. We did have at least midway through, over 2100 cars that went through and that was only up until the 27th or so."
The success of the festival of lights is not only by the participants but also the park staff and volunteers who went to the park every day to check that all the lights were on and the blow-up decorations were properly inflated as well as empty the free-will donation boxes that were set up. This was the first year they set up the free-will donation box.
"We put the freewill boxes in place, We actually had people after 2017 say 'are you going to charge?' or 'can you put out a donation box?' we had a handful of people say they wanted to donate to the project or the park. We did that at the public's request and we received donations and we are super grateful for that because our park is considered a non-profit organization, we don't get funding as a provincial park does. We can only offer activities and things within the park based on what we take in for income."
The Festival Of lights was kicked off with a Christmas in The Park event that took place at Rotary Park and held many activities for all ages. The day after they hosted the ECS Choir that saw a good crowd of people. Their last two events weren't as well received as there were many Christmas concerts taking place on the same days. They are looking forward to December 2019 as they are hoping for another successful year for the Festival Of Lights and are hoping to have the other events as successful.