Lifestyles 55 Articles

By Dorothy Dobbie

Millions of LED lights will illuminate the nights for the next six weeks as dusk turns to dark in the days of waning September sunlight.

Lights of the North has arrived in Winnipeg! It’s the first and largest show of its kind ever mounted in Canada.

Open at 6:00 each evening, visitors will start their tour walking through a 60- foot-long rainbow tunnel that will lead them to live arts and crafts demonstrations, where you can buy fascinating handcrafts and origami as well as your portrait done on rice dough as you pose. Several other rainbow tunnels guide you from spectacle to spectacle. An amazing light show will take place of the pond on this 10-acre site.

The show has been designed to celebrate Winnipeg, while saluting China, and there will be a large exhibit on China with an opportunity to explore Chengdu.

Evening performances by unbelievably talented acrobats and dancers who have come here all the way form China will entertain you until the lights begin to shine. There will be food stalls offering both Canadian and northern Chinese cuisine, cooked by an amazing award winning performing chef. (Watch the knives fly!) A beer garden will provide the adults with a place to rest weary feet as the kids enjoy Jurassic Park, Chinese style, and take a ride on a baby dinosaur or enjoy a tour through the dinosaur maze.

The light displays are magnificent. Giant replicas of the Manitoba Legislature and the Human Rights Museum tower several stories high. The gorgeous Temple of Heaven required a 100-foot crane to top it off! A 200-foot- long dragon made entirely of 100,000 china plates, cups and saucers took two artisans, working furiously, to put together over a four-week period. A 12-foot polar bear, covered in 30,000 ping pong balls, will show off its inner glow, while an iconic bison whose skin will be made of thousands of tiny medicine vials will boggle the eye

And the pandas are back – albeit in replica form, but they commemorate their first visit to Winnipeg 29 years ago, when our town became the first city in Canada to host them and only the second in North America.

All this happened as a result of the twinning, in 1988, between Winnipeg and Chengdu, home of the giant panda in Sichuan province, China. Indeed, Lights of the North has been brought here by a group of private investors in part to help reignite the relationship between our sister city and Winnipeg.

Light of the North is also the biggest celebration in the country of the 2018 Year of Canada China travel, an accord signed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in 2016. Nobody else seems to be doing much nor is there much action in marketing the program in spite of a $16 million budget to do so. Lights of the North is all private money.

And all this for $25, $20 on weekdays. It truly is a festival of delights!

Author: Lifestyles55
Lifestyles 55 is a Winnipeg paper that provides readers in their 50s and older with information on matters affecting their daily lives.
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