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December 15, 2019 December 15, 2019

Lighting up the garden

Posted on November 28, 2019 by Dave Sulz
Lethbridge herald file photo by greg bobinec The colourful lights of the Winter Light Festival stand out against the night sky at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden during last winter’s festival. Opening weekend for this year’s festival is Nov. 29-30.

The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden will be lit up for the season once again when the Winter Light Festival returns starting Nov. 29-30.
Thounsands of colourful lights will transform the garden into even more of a winter wonderland that it is naturally, creating a dazzling winter spectacle for the enjoyment of visitors of all ages.
The annual festival of lights kicks off the weekend of Nov. 29-30, then will be open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday throughout December, as well as Dec. 22, 23 and 31. It will also operate each Friday and Saturday throughout January. The garden will be open from 6-9 p.m. on festival nights, with last entries at 8:30 p.m.
Admission is $9 for adults, and the Kodomo (Kids) package is $7, which includes a hot beverage and a cookie. The Tomodachi (Friendship) package is $20 and includes two admissions, two signature Matcha maple cookies and two beverages. For families, the Kazoku package, for $50, gets you five admissions, five Matcha maple cookies and five beverages.
The schedule includes special events such as Stories with Tad and Tomo, taking place Nov. 30 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and featuring the garden’s resident storyteller, Tad Mitsui, and Nikka Yuko mascot Tomo. Dec. 7 will feature Opera in the Garden from 7-9 p.m., with Megan Wittig and Joni Thompson sharing songs from “The Mikado.”
Horse-drawn wagon rides will also be offered on Saturdays for an additional price. Other visitor packages are available, too. For details, check out the website at http://www.nikkayuko.com.
The Winter Light Festival has proven to be hugely popular with Nikka Yuko visitors, attracting more than 14,000 visitors in 2017, some of whom came from as far as Calgary, Medicine Hat and even Australia. Visitors told Nikka Yuko staff they loved how the beauty of the garden meshed with the light display.
The festival has also helped to raise the garden’s profile by attracting first-time visitors who were drawn by the Winter Light Festival, then returned in summer to view the garden in its warm-weather beauty.
As inviting as the Nikka Yuko garden is in summer, it’s a special experience in winter when lit up at night in dazzling colour, turning the tranquil garden into a true winter wonderland.

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