The Municipality of Port Hope is ready to kick off the holidays with a variety of traditional experiences returning to mark the festive season.
The annual Candlelight Festival is a holiday experience that showcases the seasonal transformation of downtown Port Hope. Find that festive feeling in Port Hope with holiday shopping, dining, events, and festive décor from November 24, 2023 until January 2, 2024.
Candlelight Walk and Light Display
The Candlelight Festival Walk takes place Friday, November 24. 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 or can be found on the digital Candlelight Song Sheet webpage. Our friends at SONG will help lead the caroling and encourage all participants 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. Attendees can also warm up at the Knights of Columbus Hall, enjoy a warm bowl of chili, and try their hand at a holiday craft before heading out to explore Moonlight Madness, where a variety of downtown stores will remain open late.
Outdoor Vendor Markets
The outdoor vendor market will be set up in Lent Lane throughout the evening of the Candlelight Walk from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Then, on December 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., there will be the Port Hope Farmers’ Market Holiday Market in the Town Hall Parking Lot. At these pop-up markets, 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 87th annual Santa Claus Parade is coming to town on Saturday, November 25 at 1:00 p.m. The parade will start at the intersection of Ridout Street and Bramley Street and continue 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 item as the Fare Share Food Bank will be collecting non-perishable food items and the Rotary Club of Port Hope will be collecting parade donations.
The Festival of Lights and Trees event returns to the Capitol Theatre this season. An immersive fundraising experience that illuminates Northumberland County’s holiday spirit like nothing else. This annual fundraising initiative has been a community favourite since 1997, becoming a holiday tradition and creating memories for guests of all ages. Visit the Capitol Theatre to view the trees and lights between November 24 until December 17, and while you’re there, you can purchase tickets for the Panto and several holiday concerts.
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 five different dates:
- Friday November 24 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday December 2 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Saturday December 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Saturday December 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- Saturday December 23 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 18 to 22. 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.
The Port Hope Police Service pajama drive “Tammie’s Jammies” is back for 2023. Donations of new pajamas for a child aged newborn to 18 is greatly appreciated. Donation boxes will be located at all Municipal offices and on our transit buses until December 20.
Holiday Activities with Parks, Recreation and Culture
We are offering a variety of holiday themed experiences and activities for all to enjoy, including:
- Festive Fun Day – Santa will be joining us at the Town Park Recreation Centre on Saturday, December 2 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This free Festive Fun Day will include crafts, games, refreshments, and bouncy castles.
- 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 the Seasonal Activities webpage.
- Festive holiday workshops are back with multiple days, times, and activities for the whole family.
- Give the gift of recreation this year. We are offering 10 pack recreation passes for youth/child. Only on sale December 1 to 23.
- Holiday Camp is running December 27 to 29 and January 2 to 5 for ages 4 to 12 years at the Town Park Recreation Centre. Register your child early as spots are limited.
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