Festive Events and Activities Planned this Holiday Season in the Municipality of Port Hope

In Upcoming Events

The Municipality of Port Hope is ready to kick off the holidays with a variety of traditional experiences returning to mark the festive season.


Candlelight Festival

The annual Candlelight Festival is a holiday experience that showcases the seasonal transformation of downtown Port Hope.


Candlelight walk and holiday light display

The Candlelight Festival Walk takes place Friday, November 25. It will begin at Walton and Pine Streets (155 Walton St.) at 6:00 p.m.

Participants are invited to bring their own light source to carry (a lantern, candle with protective container, battery-operated candle, or flashlight). Some flame- and battery-operated candles will be available at the start of the walk, while supplies last. Participants are also invited to bring a donation of a non-perishable food item for the Fare Share Food Bank.

Caroling song sheets will be provided at the start of the Walk. We have partnered with Sounds of the Next Generation (SONG), who will help lead the caroling during the Walk and encourage all participants to sing along to some holiday favourites.

The Walk will conclude at Memorial Park where there will be live music and a countdown to the park lighting display, which will include art projections from the Critical Mass Art Illuminights project. Following the walk and lighting ceremony, attendees are invited to stop into the Knights of Columbus Hall to warm up and partake in a holiday craft before heading out to explore the rest of what downtown Port Hope has to offer.


Outdoor Market

The outdoor vendor market will be set up in Lent Lane throughout the evening of the Candlelight walk and an additional three other afternoons throughout the month of December. Here you will find a wide variety of homespun products and gifts for those on your shopping list. Visit the Candlelight Festival web page for full details.


Santa Claus Parade

The 86th annual Santa Claus Parade is coming to town on Saturday, November 26 at 1:00 p.m. The parade returns this year with the traditional format and route, starting at Ridout Street along Walton Street to Queen Street, and then south to Augusta Street.

This year’s parade will feature live music, floats and displays from many local businesses and community groups. Bring along a food or personal item as the Fare Share Food Bank will be collecting non-perishable food and personal items and the Rotary Club of Port Hope will be collecting parade donations.


Capitol Christmas

The Festival of Lights and Trees event returns to the Capitol Theatre this season. An immersive experience that illuminates Northumberland County’s holiday spirit like nothing else, this annual fundraising initiative has been a community favourite, creating memories and becoming a holiday tradition for guests of all ages. Visit the Capitol Theatre to view the trees and lights between November 25 until December 16.


Wagon Rides

Take a ride on a horse-drawn carriage throughout the downtown this holiday season. The rides are being provided by Top Notch Carriage Service on four different dates:

    • Friday, November 25 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, December 3 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, December 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, December 17 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The pick-up location is Walton Street Bridge, just east of Queenies Bake Shop. Carriage rides are free and will run in a loop through downtown Port Hope.


For a full list of Candlelight Festival offerings, visit porthope.ca/candlelight-festival.


Free ROLLS Transit

The Rotary Club of Port Hope has generously covered the cost of our ROLLS transit service for the month of December. Residents who are already enrolled as ROLLS members can enjoy the service without fees, beginning December 1 to December 31.

The Rotary Club of Port Hope has also sponsored Christmas light tours from December 13 to 20. Reservations for these 1-hour bus tours are open to ROLLS members and residents of: Empire crossing, Hope Street Terrace, Roseglen Village, Extendicare, and Regency Park. Tours run from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

For details and to book a spot, contact the Transit Coordinator at 905-885-9891.


Holiday Activities with Parks, Recreation and Culture

We are generating a holly-jolly spirit with festive activities for all to enjoy, including:

  • Festive Fun Day – Santa will be joining us at the Town Park Recreation Centre on Saturday, December 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Festive Fun Day will include crafts, games, refreshments, and bouncy castles. Masks are strongly recommended for indoor settings by Provincial health experts.
  • Stay active during the holiday break and join us for swim, skate, and gym drop-ins. Select dates and times are free thanks to our local sponsors. View the whole schedule on our Seasonal Activities webpage.
  • Our festive holiday workshops are back with multiple days, times, and activities for the whole family.

Visit porthope.ca/seasonal-activities for the full list of activities and detailed schedules.


There is plenty more holiday programming being offered throughout the community to help you find that festive feeling this season. Follow the Candlelight Festival Facebook event for regular updates and check the events calendar for a full list of local activities.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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