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A Guide to the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights

Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights
Illuminated trees.

While most visitors come to see Niagara Falls during the warm summer months, winter is also a spectacular time to visit and experience all of the natural beauty and entertainment that the city has to offer.

One of the highlights of winter in Niagara Falls is the city’s annual Winter Festival of Lights, which is taking place November 3 – January 31 all throughout the city’s tourist district. Highlights include the illumination of Niagara Falls, fireworks shows, one-of-a-kind illumination displays, an 8km festival route, the Cascades of Fire International Fireworks Competition, and more.

Here are some of the top things to check out at this year’s festival:

Winter Festival of Lights Opening Ceremony

November 3, Queen Victoria Park

The Winter Festival of Lights will kick off with a celebration in Queen Victoria Park featuring:

  • Live entertainment
  • Lighting displays
  • Free admission
  • Fireworks over Niagara Falls

And after the ceremonies, you can drive or walk along the festival’s 8km illumination route to see spectacular displays and dazzling light-wrapped trees.

Illumination Displays

November 3 – January 31, Various spots around Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland during the Winter Festival of Lights with one-of-a-kind illumination displays set up all around the city. Here are some of the must-see spots:

  • Clifton Hill – features Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles displays.
  • Dufferin Islands – features 3-D Canadian wildlife displays, an illuminated water fountain, wrapped trees, and more.
  • Fallsview District – features the Passage light tunnel, Prismatica art exhibit, and the Fallsview Sound & Light Show.

Cascades of Fire International Fireworks Competition

Niagara Falls fireworks
Fireworks show.

November 9-11 & 16-18, Niagara Falls

This November, Niagara Falls will be hosting the 2018 Cascades of Fire International Fireworks Competition. During the competition, teams from all over the world will present 18-minute pyrotechnic shows over Niagara Falls, which are synchronized to music and reviewed by a panel of judges. Awards will be presented at the event’s closing ceremonies scheduled for Sunday November 18th.

Here’s everything you need to know about the event:

  • Cascades of Fire takes place over two weekends (November 9-11 & November 16-18).
  • Six international teams will be competing including China, Finland, Brazil, Vietnam, Italy, and Canada.
  • All shows start at 9pm.
  • At the end of each show, a judging panel will rate the performance and awards will be presented by the Mayor of Niagara Falls at the closing ceremony on November 18th.
  • Team Canada will be hosting the competition’s finale on November 18th.
  • Shows can be viewed from along the Niagara Parkway, at Table Rock Welcome Centre, or from a beautiful Fallsview room at the Sheraton on the Falls.
  • You can tune your radio to Star 102.5 to hear the music that accompanies each show.

The annual Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights is an exciting holiday tradition that also includes popular events like the New Year’s Eve celebration in Queen Victoria Park and the Deck the Falls holiday walking tour. Winter is a magical time to visit Niagara Falls, so start planning your getaway today!