Enjoy the Magic of the Season—in Port Hope!


Photo © Courtesy of Municipality of Port Hope

Come one, come all—come as often as you can, starting November 24th.

Our annual Candlelight Festival is a holiday experience that showcases the seasonal transformation of downtown Port Hope. Find that magical feeling with holiday shopping, dining, events, and décor from November 24, 2023, until January 2, 2024. 

Things get underway with the Candlelight Festival Walk on Friday, November 24, starting at 6 pm on Walton Street, the centrr of many things Christmas, and part of our historic heritage downtown. Participants are invited to bring their own light source to carry (a lantern, candle with protective container, battery-operated candle, or flashlight). Some flame and battery-operated candles will be available at the start of the walk, and while supplies last.

The Walk will conclude at Memorial Park where there will be live music and a countdown to the launch of our inspiring park lighting display. Attendees can also warm up at the Knights of Columbus Hall, enjoy a warm bowl of chili, and try their hand at a holiday craft before heading out to explore Moonlight Madness, where a variety of downtown stores will remain open late. 

The season really kicks into high gear the next day with our 87th Santa Clause Parade at 1 pm. The parade begins at the intersection of Ridout Street and Bramley Street and continue along Walton Street to Queen Street, and then south to Augusta Street. 

This year’s parade will feature live music, floats, and displays from many local businesses and community groups. Please bring along a food item for the Fare Share Food Bank who will be collecting non-perishable food items. 

Take the family for a sleigh ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the downtown, also starting on Friday, the 24th of November from 5 to 8 pm. The free rides continue every Saturday throughout December, from 11 am to 2 pm, on December 2nd and ending on December 23rd.

Don’t miss the outdoor vendor market which will be set up in Lent Lane and run the evening of the Candlelight Walk, November 24th, from 4:00 to 9:00 pm. Then, on December 2nd from 10 am to 2 pm, the Port Hope Farmers’ Holiday Market will happen in the Town Hall Parking Lot. At all of these pop-up markets, you will find a wide variety of homespun and hand-made products and produce, and gifts for everyone on your shopping list.

Photo © Courtesy of Municipality of Port Hope
Photo © Courtesy of Municipality of Port Hope

The Festival of Lights and Trees returns to the Capitol Theatre again this season. It is an immersive experience that illuminates the holiday spirit unlike anything one may have seen before. This annual fundraising initiative has been a community favourite since 1997, becoming a holiday tradition and creating memories for guests of all ages. Visit the Capitol Theatre to view the trees and lights between November 24 until December 17, and while you’re there, you can purchase tickets for the Christmas Panto and several holiday concerts. 

Our fabulous restaurants will be open throughout the Candlelight Festival, offering sumptuous dishes and many with seasonal delights. Decadent deserts are everywhere, and our menus offer award-winning, international fare as well as local area and national specialties.

Plans for Port Hope should always include a meal at one of our many eateries.

And then of course, there are our shops. An incredible variety of gift ideas, products and services from antique maps and books to home-made candles, decorations and treats, to clothing fit for anyone’s wardrobe. Eco-conscious shoppers will adore our variety of thrift and vintage offerings. All set with the beautiful back drop of our Heritage District buildings and residences, with over 200 incredible structures and homes to see.

It is a magical time here in Port Hope. Make sure that your holiday plans include a visit—or two!

For a full list of Candlelight Festival offerings, visit porthope.ca/candlelight-festival.

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The Candlelight Festival is an annual holiday experience. We invite you to come and explore the seasonal transformation of Port Hope from November 24, 2023 until January 2, 2024.


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