River Lights Opening Night

  • November 18th
  • 242 Dalhousie St.
  • 519-730-1309

Come join us on November 18th at 5pm for a magical night to start off the holiday season.

Family inside lit up ornament

Experience a stunning display of twinkling lights, illuminated trees, and festive decorations that transform Amherstburg into a winter wonderland!

The Super Santa Walk/Run returns this year and kicks off Opening Night festivities. Join hundreds of Santas participating in the 5km walk or run through the Downtown. The run helps support conservation projects in the Essex Region and includes great prizes! Register here

The tree lighting ceremony starts at 6:00pm at the Clock Tower, with fireworks to follow at 6:20pm over the river.

Head over to the Commissariat building after the fireworks display where a festive movie will be played behind the building starting at 6:45pm.

Sing along with carollers and take photos with character actors who will roam the streets throughout the event. Free hot chocolate and cookies will be available courtesy of Seasons Retirement Communities, so don’t miss out on a sweet treat!

Exciting news! The Gingerbread Warming House makes its sweet return this year in Toddy Jones Park. Join us from 5:30-8:30pm on Opening Night for hot chocolate, enjoy kids’ crafts and a cozy spot to stay warm.


Returning to this year’s River Lights Winter Festival is the popular ‘Cider and Stories at the Commissariat’, hosted by the Provincial Marine of Amherstburg.

Visitors are invited to stop by the 1830s heritage building, and join our historic sailors beside a cracking fire in an ‘iron brazier’.

Over the fire will be a large pot of hot Apple Cider, just perfect for sipping on a cool autumn evening. Inside The Commissariat, our old friend and storyteller Seamus Gunn will be sharing a winter time tale that is more than three hundred years old and those who choose may join in for a sing along of an ancient carol!

The Commissariat is located at 224 Dalhousie Street, next to the Park House Museum and it will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 8:20 p.m. on opening night, Saturday November 18th. Story times are at 6:45, 7:20 and 7:55 sharp!

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