Food Bank makes history as Bright Nights concludes

marc Bence/for metro edmonton


Greg Dust, left, and Bob Casgrain ski through Hawrelak Park near the Bright Nights displays, a festival that set a record this year in food bank donations.

The lights have now been flicked off for the city’s popular yuletide Bright Nights attraction and organizers say it broke records this year.

After wrapping up Canada’s largest Christmas festival of lights on Sunday, event manager Lori Farquharson says visitors handed over a record amount of food for Edmonton’s Food Bank.

“We are really starting to see Bright Nights becoming a strong Christmas tradition here in Edmonton,” she said.

The large displays seen at Churchill Square, Hawrelak Park and the Alberta Legislature, she says, attracted 250,000 visitors that donated $35,000 and close to 38,000 kilograms of food at the event gates — the most in the festival’s ten-year history.

“This will go a long ways in helping the Food Bank out in 2008,” she said.

Over 660,000 LED lights were used to make displays at Hawrelak Park alone, and plans to improve the festival are already being studied by organizers.

Some of those plans could include making the festival more environmentally conscious by reducing the amount of car activity, says Farquharson.

“We are always looking at ways to streamline the operation,” she said.

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