Let it Glow – A Celebration of Light – returns this year with its family-friendly, outdoor festival of interactive light installations, entertainment, and cultural programming. A prime location to visit for a free, self-guided tour of lights is Rennie Park in Port Dalhousie. Downtown lighting installations are located at Meridian Centre Rankin Bridge, James Street Alley, and City Hall. St. Catharines Mayor Mat Siscoe says Let it Glow celebration gets bigger and better every time, and this year’s event promises a mix of traditional favourites like the spectacular light displays and festive activities along with added contests, and special character visits for everyone to enjoy. A launch party is happening at Rennie Park on December 1 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. featuring visits from Spiderman, Buzz Lightyear, Christmas Belle, the Grinch, and Santa. Visitors can take a ride on the historic Lakeside Park Carousel, opening for this special event. The one-stop-shop Winter at the Market event is back again on Wednesdays in December from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Catharines Farmers Market at 90 King Street. Patrons can pick up holiday baked goods and local wine as well as toys, jewelry and other handmade gifts from local artisans. Residents can enjoy a free skate at the Meridian Centre on Dec. 10 from noon to 4 p.m. and a photo session with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Batman, Elsa, Bluey and Paw Patrol characters will be on hand to meet with visitors. The tradition returns this season with the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre’s annual Mitten Tree Campaign. Help local families in need by dropping off winter clothing donations at the museum between Dec. 2, 2023, and Jan. 6, 2024. Donations are delivered weekly to Community Care of St Catharines and Thorold and to Start Me Up Niagara. Celebrate New Year’s Eve at St. Catharines Kiwanis Aquatics Centre with one of four hour-long free leisure swims happening on Dec. 31 at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon. Pre-register at stcatharines.ca/DecemberSwim. Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre will host free public skating on New Year’s Eve from 9:30 a.m. to noon on all four pads – one of which will host the popular glow-in-the-dark event complete with glow sticks, character visits and a family photo booth. Watch for registration information at stcatharines.ca/ActiveSTC. Scan QR codes found throughout Rennie Park in Port Dalhousie between Dec. 1 and Jan. 7 for a chance to win a ‘Port Delicious’ dining experience. Sponsorship provided by Alectra Utilities. For more details and a full schedule of events, visit lovestc.ca/LetItGlow.