By Tammy Schneider
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
With winter fast approaching, and so many holiday events sidelined this year because of COVID, the Municipality of Kincardine, Kincardine & District Chamber of Commerce & Lakeside Downtown Kincardine BIA have launched an initiative with the hope of spreading a little light this season.
The idea for the #leavethelighton campaign was sparked in early fall, when it became clear that events, holiday parties and festivities would likely be cancelled because of the pandemic. More people would be staying home, there would be less travelling and it was thought residents and businesses would be more likely to put up holiday lights and displays.
Kelly McDonald, tourism coordinator for the Municipality of Kincardine, says this initiative isn’t just for the Christmas season, and organizers hope it extends right through the winter months.
“At a time of year that can be difficult for many as days get shorter and darker, the need to shine a little brightness is imperative – especially this year,” said McDonald. “It’s been a difficult nine months for everyone, and we hope that the Leave the Light On initiative will spread some much needed light throughout the winter months as we all illuminate our spaces for others to enjoy.”
The response from the business community, service clubs and residents has been tremendous. Displays on the lighthouse, in front of the Library, at the Davidson Centre on and area homes are lighting up streets, storefronts and public facilities.
In downtown Kincardine, shoppers and strollers can enjoy a beautiful light display over Harbour Street and in the alleyway between BMO and RBC.
“This permanent lighting enhancement represents a $25,000 commitment by the Kincardine BIA to add to the ambiance and public safety of our downtown, making shopping, dining or just strolling downtown in the evenings that much more inviting” said Rick Clarke, Kincardine BIA.
Clarke also said Don Huston, of Public Works, was instrumental in making the project possible, and offers his expertise and free time to help bring the project together. Clarke said Huston’s enthusiasm and positive attitude and “let’s find a way” attitude brought the vision for the downtown to life.
For those who have made a Christmas tradition of hopping in the car, or strolling by holiday displays, a map listing the location of the displays is available at www.kincardine.ca/light-on. Enjoy them all in one evening or take part in a self-guided tour, visiting one neighbourhood at a time. And if you have decorated your home or business, add your location to the list by entering your address via the same website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.