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The Dazzle and Magic of Niagara's Winter

© By Elle Andra-Warner
  Niagara as a top winter destination? Absolutely. Niagara delivers its own wonderful brand of winter dazzle, beginning in early November with the spectacular annual Winter Festival of Lights now in its 25th year. Every night for two months (November 8, 2008 to January 5, 2009) over 3 million sparkling tree and ground lights and 125 giant illuminated animated light displays are lit along five kilometres of the Niagara Parkway (known during the festival as Niagara Parks Winter Wonderland), at Dufferin Island, Lundy's Lane (a.k.a. Candy Cane Lane) and downtown Candy Cane Lane Niagara Falls. It is a brilliant visual experience.
     The lightshow extravaganza sets the scene for an eclectic lineup of festival events. Like the nightly colourful illuminations of wintry Niagara Falls. Or fireworks exploding in the dark sky high above the shimmering falls. Concerts, races, arts and crafts. Comedy Fest. Canada's biggest free outdoor New Year's Eve "Party in the Park" with over 30,000 attending. And much more.
     The Winter Festival of Lights winds down in early January, but Niagara keeps the winter party going with one of North America's most incredible winter events, the 13th annual Niagara Icewine Festival (January 18 - February 3, 2009).
     Known for producing the world's best icewine, the Niagara region began hosting the "everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-Icewine" event in 1995, and now draws over 150,000 local residents and visitors. It kicks off with the annual gourmet gala dinner (Xerox's Fire and Ice Gala Evening & Silent Auction) where 30 Niagara wineries showcase over 100 different kinds of icewine in what has become Canada's largest public Icewine tasting.
     During the festival's 18 days, there are plenty of special events, wine and food seminars, outdoor cafes, Icewine bars, winter tours to Niagara wineries, carriage tours and ah yes, Icewine samplings (a $30 Niagara Icewine Discovery Pass provides an invites to many of the events).

Dufferin Islands  Dufferin Islands  Festival Of Lights  Nativity Scene  The Skylon 

     Niagara has put ''fun'' back into the festive spirit of winter, but don't take my word for it - come see for yourself and catch the dazzle and magic of a Niagara winter.

Elle Andra-Warner is a Thunder Bay-based travel writer and photographer who has authored several books.

Photo Credits
Tourism Niagara
Festival of Lights

If you go
Icewine is a dessert wine made from grapes frozen on the vine, harvested by hand once temperature has dropped below -10 to -13 degrees Celsius.
Niagara Falls
Festival of lights

as seen on YouTube
Winter Festival of Lights: www.wfol.com
Niagara Icewine Festival: www.niagaraicewinefestival.com
Niagara Grape & Wine Festival: www.niagaragrapeandwinefestival.com
Tourism Niagara: www.tourismniagara.com
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niagara_Falls,_Ontario
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Niagara_Falls_(Ontario)

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.abyznewslinks.com/
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Google interactive map: http://maps.google.com/
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/




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