Scrooge, Santa, and the Cavalcade of Lights

My family and I went to the “Cavalcade of Lights” (town tree lighting ceremony) at City Hall last Saturday night.

We got off the subway at Union and went into the Fairmont Royal York Hotel to have a look around. We were greeted by the characters from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, sculpted in tallow.

Here is Mr. Fezziwig.

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Beside him was Ebenezer Scrooge.

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Bob Cratchit is seen warming his hands at a candle.

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Here’s Jacob Marley, looking particularly terrifying.

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The Ghost of Christmas Past takes the form of a lit candle here.

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The Ghost of Christmas Present is portrayed as jolly and good-hearted, carrying a light through the darkest days of the year.

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The Ghost of Christmas Future is …well…..more ominous.

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The Royal York has an enormous beautiful tree. I am hoping that Santa leaves a new camera for me under my own tree, because my camera does not take photos that are nearly as good as this one. This was taken by my brother and his fancy DSLR camera.

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We then went to Berczy Park on Front Street, which is not too far from the Royal York Hotel. When we arrived we saw another impressive tree.

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The avenue in the park is lined with trees and was lit up beautifully as well.

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We then went on our way to City Hall. The tree was lit at 7:20pm. I had read earlier that day that the tree lighting and fireworks were happening at 8:00pm. Unfortunately, I was in the washroom at 7:20pm and missed the tree lighting, confetti, AND mayor-in-name-only Rob Ford’s speech.  I didn’t think he would even be invited. Apparently his presence elicited some booing from the audience.

Here is a shot of the tree lighting, taken by my brother and his fancy DSLR camera (yes, I am a bit jealous).

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Here is a closer photo of the 100 foot tall tree. Ok, it might not actually be 100 ft tall. It just seems that way. I have never lived in a big city before so I am not used to seeing Godzilla-sized Christmas trees in town squares.

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The skating rink was beautifully lit as well.

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Next came the piece de resistance…the fireworks and laser light show. It was INCREDIBLE!

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Here is one last photo of the fireworks, fancy DSLR camera style.

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Before the fireworks, a variety of artists – Cold Specks, Tyler Shaw, Carvin Winans, and Divine Brown – had been performing Christmas songs onstage. They were backed by a massive 1000 person choir called …ha ha… “Choir Choir Choir.”  Well, maybe it wasn’t actually 1000 people, but it seemed like it. All the aforementioned artists and the Massive Choir X3 were awesome.

After the fireworks a band named Diamond Rings took the stage. The lead singer was…well…kind of like a 1980s Justin Beiber. The band was playing 1980s type music using synthesizers and the lead singer seemed to be imitating the vocal styles of 1980s bands like Duran Duran (Hungry Like the Wolf), Talk Talk (It’s My Life), and Level 42 (Something About You / Human After All). However, his voice was a constant monotone and he could not quite capture the style he was trying so hard to imitate. Additionally, he pretended to play a guitar AND a saxophone during the show. This was accomplished by playing the same three notes over and over again.

The band played for over an hour and we were all anxious for the next act to start. But I will say that Diamond Rings had a good sense of showmanship –  evidenced by some of the lead singer’s costumes, pictured below.

This first one was some sort of a square vest made out of styrofoam covered in bright silver material. This was accompanied by a black hat covered in large spikes.

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Next came an outfit made out of what looked like a space blanket. For those of you not familiar with a space blanket, it is made out of material that reflects heat inwards and is used to cover both lost hikers and winter campers as well as objects in space such as the Canadarm.

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Ha, ha, ha. For his encore he appeared in true Justin Beiber style, wearing a light denim jean jacket with the arms ripped off, high-top sneakers, and a white baseball hat.

During the show we were kept entertained not only by the flamboyant costumes of Diamond Rings but by the appearance of this fellow. “Dean” was wearing an outfit made of black fabric that was entirely covered by lights.  He was posing for hundreds of photographs with curious onlookers.

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Have any of you ever seen “Dean” at any other City events?

We also caught a glimpse of this larger-than-life Lego man…

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…but no one can compare to The Man himself….Kris Kringle! I only caught a glimpse of him because he was being swarmed by people wanting their photos taken with him. I didn’t get the opportunity myself, but maybe I will see him soon….

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Stay tuned!

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