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Indoor Christmas extravaganza coming to Barrie

Around 100,000 visitors are expected over the course of the event: organizer
2018-09-27 Christmas Glow Barrie
Photo supplied

One million lights. 

One year to plan.

Twenty days to set up.

Barrie is about to become the first location outside of Langley, B.C., to host Christmas Glow Barrie: Glow Around the World.

Glow and Darvonda Nurseries chief executive officer Lawrence Jansen describes it as "an indoor Christmas extravaganza for families."

They have teamed up with Bradford Greenhouses Garden Gallery, just outside Barrie, and local vendors for the event.

"The idea started literally as a way to encourage agri-tourism in the winter months," Jansen tells BarrieToday. "In British Columbia, it is so wet and rainy in the winter so it is hard to have outdoor displays because it is just so miserable.

"We wanted to do a family-friendly Christmas event, but do it indoors where people would actually enjoy it," he added. "As farmers and growers, we also needed to find ways to keep nurseries busy in the winter months.

"As for our choice of Barrie, it is just so well connected with everything we need," Jansen said. "We expect guests from Simcoe County and also the GTA."

Around 100,000 visitors are expected over the course of the event.

With a $3-million budget, Glow Around the World invites guests to wander through lighted trails and follow Santa's delivery path through France, India, China, Mexico and Holland. 

The destination is the North Pole where children can meet Santa.

There will also be a tree lot, a Christmas market with local artisans, vendors, food and beverage trucks, and live entertainment.

"The highlight is probably the illuminated sculptures, backdrops and hanging lights which make the perfect Instagram pictures," Jansen said.

"Our ultimate goal is to partner with growers and nurseries across Canada and the U.S. and find ways to give back to communities," he added. "We may expand to a pumpkin patch exhibit (Harvest Glow) and if all works out we will bring that to Barrie next fall."

The Christmas Glow Festival runs from Nov. 22 until Jan. 19.

Early-bird tickets, with a 40 per cent discount, are on sale through Sept. 25.

For more information, check out GlowBarrieON on Facebook. 


About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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