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Noella Festival Wrap Up

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

It’s a new year. We’re planning, scheduling and jumping into routine. Our gaze is forward, but for a brief moment, let’s look back and revisit one of the most magical events that took place in beautiful downtown Barrie.

Meridian Place played host to many of the Noëlla Festival events, but most memorable was the Tree Lighting Celebration. 2018 saw the first-ever 35-foot Christmas Tree at Meridian Place and when the 25,000 lights were lit with thousands of people in attendance, there’s no doubt that lasting memories were made. After an evening spent watching the Santa Claus Parade roll through our downtown, crowds headed to Meridian Place to experience Santa flipping the switch and lighting the towering Norway Spruce. Incredible fireworks topped the evening off and drew crowds toward Heritage Park where the much loved Rotary Festival of Lights could also be taken in.

Saturday, November 17th marked the first day of the Noëlla Festival but events continued for the next four weeks. Downtown businesses participated in the Window Decorating Contest; each having displayed incredible efforts for 2018’s theme: Christmas Past, Present & Future. Everleigh Garden (104 Dunlop Street East) stole the show with their display (check it out below).

The Christmas Artisan Market and the Christmas Tree & Wreath Lot took place each Saturday at Meridian Place from December 1st to 15th. Artists from the City of Barrie’s Emerging Musicians Program performed while visitors watched their kids meet Santa from newly installed Muskoka chairs surrounding a cozy fire pit. The energy and ambiance was ideal but what made each Saturday even more heartwarming was knowing that all proceeds from the Christmas Tree & Wreath Lot were going to Hospice Simcoe. With a focus on community, we were more than happy to support a charity that hugely supports our community.

Another highly anticipated element of the Noëlla Festival was Downtown Barrie’s Holly Days! Visitors shopped at participating downtown locations and entered ballots into a draw for a prize package which consisted of incredible goodies from our downtown businesses. The value of this prize package was over $3000 and the lucky winner this year was Amanda Hicks-Whitty. Amanda was thrilled to have received the prize package and collected her goodies at the Downtown Barrie BIA office with her family.

Watch the video recap of 2018’s Noëlla Festival.