Bask in the glow of thousands of lit candles at Luminaria
By Katrina Turchin | December 2, 2021
Write a wish on the wish tree, sip apple cider and enjoy a night under the stars at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden’s Luminaria.
“What makes Luminaria really special is there’s lots to see and do, but it’s also very peaceful and serene,” says Kerry Mulholland, communications and marketing coordinator for University of Alberta Botanic Garden.
Luminaria began in 2008 and has expanded every year since. The 43 day-long event features choreographed light shows created by Scott Peters and Jason Kodie in the Aga Khan Garden and a new sculpture by Indigenous artist Jason Carter. Guests can light a candle in honour of a loved one or write a message to hang on the Wish Tree. Kids can look forward to seeing the snow queen and illuminated snow sprites wandering around the garden.
“We’ve got traditional elements that people like to do, like having some hot apple cider by the fire. There’s a cappella singers, and we’ve got a great new menu in our concession with delicious hot food, snacks, beverages and an ice bar,” says Mulholland.
It takes about an hour and a half to walk through the garden and Mulholland encourages people to take their time. Entrance to the garden is timed and capacity is limited to avoid crowding.
Certain nights have special programming, but you’ll want to buy your tickets in advance as they always sell out. Mackenzie Brown is hosting Indigenous Dark Sky Storytelling from December 16 to 18. Registration is $5 per person and is added on to your Luminaria ticket. Bring a camping chair and prepare to hear stories under the stars. Stay tuned for more special programming that will be announced throughout December.
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Luminaria runs every evening from November 27 until January 9, 2022 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $21 for adults, $17 for seniors (65+), $16 for students and $11 for children between the ages of three and 12. Children two and under are free.