In two short days, a campsite in Fort Simpson Territorial Park was transformed into a magical winter wonderland that not even the Grinch could steal.
Originally envisioned to take place from December 9-11 the event generated so much excitement and joy that it was extended for a full week so that everyone had the chance to check out the incredible display.
Inspired by a similar event hosted at the Hay River Territorial Park, ITI’s Dehcho Tourism and Parks team recruited local businesses and organizations to turn the Fort Simpson Park into a decorated medley of lights, ornaments, decorations – and even a friendly Grinch.
Nineteen local organizations worked hanging lights, decorating trees, setting up blow-up characters, and teepees. Even Mother Nature cooperated as the weather warmed up from a frigid -40 to a crisp -15 just in time for community members to walk through the park and enjoy the lights.
The Kindergarten class from Liidlii Kue Elementary School took the prize for Best Light Display.
The Tourism and Parks team decorated the Fort Simpson Kitchen Shelter welcoming guests with hot chocolate and a roaring bonfire and accepting donations to support the local Friendship Centre Food Hamper Program.
“It’s evident that it made a difference for residents of Fort Simpson, says ITI’s regional Manager of Tourism and Parks, Stephanie Hardisty, “The comments and feedback we received clearly showed how much the Winter Wonderland was enjoyed by everyone.”
ITI’s Tourism and Parks team hopes to be back next year – bigger and better. Their partner organizations are also indicated interested in attending again.
One local resident really put it into perspective observing that just eight months before, the park was submerged in water but now looked as beautiful as ever.
The twinkling lights of the holiday season will do that. Happy Holidays!Jonathan Antoine 6 – Tah Chay Adventures
Jonathan Antoine 7 – WalkersJonathan Antoine 9 – Polar Express (Winner) Jonathan Antoine 21 – Liidlii Kue First Nation Jonathan Antoine 15 – Open Doors Grinch site Stephanie Hardisty 3 – Deagan and the Grinch Stephanie Hardisty 23 – Kitchen Shelter Firepit/people