Monday, November 29, 2010
Holiday: Cavalcade of Lights
Red and green fireworks lit up City Hall in Toronto, Ontario during the Cavalcade of Lights fireworks on 27-November-2010
TORONTO, ONTARIO - Traditionally, the Cavalcade of Lights here has been a nearly season-long event, with part of the idea of the festival being that there would be happenings at Nathan Philips Square on a number of evenings to draw people to the holiday-related businesses downtown. However, this year, with the area under construction, it was decided to run the event for just a single night. I wasn't sure what that would mean for attendance--would it be like any other single night of past cavalcades, or would it attract a season's worth of attendees?
The balcony above Nathan Philips Square was nearly as stuffed with people as the ground level during the Cavalcade of Lights in Toronto, Ontario on 27-November-2010
The truth turned out to be much closer to the latter. In comparatively mild weather (especially compared with the wind and snow that had started the day), Nathan Philips Square was stuffed with people--it was difficult to walk around the skating surface, and perhaps even more surprising, people were coming down from the balcony level because there weren't any good viewpoints left there. Estimates in the media stated only "hundreds" of people, but it seemed to me there had to be more than a thousand.
Toronto's official Christmas tree had just been lit when this photograph was taken on 27-November-2010
Because of the construction, the Christmas tree (and yes, it is officially a Christmas tree, not a Holiday tree) was not in its normal location near the northeast corner of the square; instead, it magically appeared with the flick of a switch in the northwest corner not long after the event started at 7 pm.
Divine Brown performed during the Cavalcade of Lights in Toronto, Ontario on 27-November-2010
The hosts for the evening were from CHUM-FM, a hit music station, and the three Canadian artists to perform three songs each were all straight off that radio station's playlist, Sarah Slean, Shawn Desman, and Divine Brown. None seemed to especially move the audience, who became increasingly impatient for the fireworks.
Haut-Vol from Levis, Quebec performed acrobatic acts during the Cavalcade of Lights in Toronto, Ontario on 27-November-2010
What did capture the crowd's attention was Hault-Vol, an acrobatic troupe from Levis, Quebec that went up and down a large structure to the right of the main stage. This was a different and very interesting attraction that the portion of my crowd probably would have been happy to watch for much longer than five minutes.
Red fireworks exploded around Toronto's City Hall during the Cavalcade of Lights on 27-November-2010
What we came for, though, were the fireworks. With only one display this year, it seemed like the whole season's worth of displays had been packed into this one evening. It seemed much longer than the eight minutes that it actually lasted, a very satisfying cap on the evening for those of not choosing to remain around and ice skate into the night.
More pictures from the Cavalcade of Lights will be featured in a future update to my photo site