Sainte-Marie Among The Hurons is ready to embrace the holiday season with the much-anticipated return of First Light. Hosted by Huronia Historical Parks (HPP), this annual event promises to transform the reconstructed 17th-century mission into a magical holiday experience, immersing visitors in a world of festive charm illuminated by thousands of candles.
This year’s event is scheduled to take place over three weekends from 5:30 to 9:00 PM each night.
- November 16 to 18
- November 23 to 25
- November 30 to December 2
Why You Don’t Want To Miss First Light
First Light transports guests back in time while offering a glimpse into the holiday traditions of the past. Lantern-lit pathways will guide visitors through the historic site, adorned with fresh greenery and festive décor.
“First Light at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons is a magical, one-of-a-kind experience for people of all ages in a beautiful, historical setting. The variety of sights, family-friendly events, and activities will create life-long memories for all visitors. It should be a part of everyone’s winter season plans.”— Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport
Local Artisans and Crafters
In addition to enjoying the magic and history of Sainte-Marie, people can get ahead on holiday shopping. More than 40 crafters and artisans will be spread throughout the Brébeuf Event Centre, indoor museum, and grounds. Sainte-Marie’s Flint and Timber Gift Shop will also be open, offering holiday-themed finds, including souvenir First Light travel mugs.
Live Performances And Family Activities
Returning performers will contribute to the festive atmosphere. Listen to Ruth Sutherland play traditional harp music in the historic Church of Saint-Joseph. Enjoy hand drumming by Chris Walser in the longhouse. Or head to the restaurant for lively holiday folk tunes from Doug Feaver.
Families can also partake in various activities such as quill pen writing, candle-making demonstrations, storytelling, and more.
Fireworks And More
To add to the magic, guests are invited to cozy up outside as fireworks light up the night on Friday evenings at 7 p.m.
The Martyrs Shrine’s Big Canoe Food Truck and the local favorite Grounded Coffee Co will also be on-site to offer a unique foodie experience on the Sainte-Marie patio. If you are just looking for a snack, you can enjoy hot chocolate and freshly popped popcorn.
“I’ve experienced First Light many times, and it always manages to bring that touch of holiday magic to the festive season. There’s a reason so many families choose to make it an annual tradition.”— Will Baird, General Manager of Huronia Historical Parks
Community engagement is a key aspect of First Light, with community choirs and organizations such as the Wye Marsh contributing to the festivities. Sainte-Marie among the Hurons encourages visitors to bring non-perishable food donations, aiming to fill a large canoe in support of the local Salvation Army Food Drive.
For the convenience of attendees, parking will be available at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, with shuttle buses running from Walmart in Midland throughout each of the nine evenings.
For more information about First Light and to purchase tickets, visit Sainte-Marie Among The Huron’s website. Walk-ins are also welcome, and guests are not required to make a reservation or purchase advance tickets.
Don’t miss the chance to be part of this magical holiday tradition at Sainte-Marie Among The Hurons!
Main Image: Picture of Ruth Sutherland playing the harp in the Church of Saint-Joseph at Sainte-Marie Among The Hurons; supplied by Sainte-Marie Among The Hurons.