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River of Lights flips switch Saturday

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Brockville is getting into the festive spirit this weekend.

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Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand at Blockhouse Island late Saturday afternoon to flip the switch and launch the second annual River of Lights and a ‘reverse’ or ‘static’ Santa Claus parade that replaces the regular procession that could not proceed this year because of COVID-19.

Following the turning of the switch at 5 on Saturday, local Rotarians will host a drive-by parade with floats and displays on the Water Street parking lot and along the Blockhouse Island causeway.

Drivers, or people travelling by city and para transit buses from 6 to 9 p.m. from Market Street West, can also take in the trees lit up with more than 75,000 LED lights.

The Brockville Fire Department will be accepting toys adjacent to Blockhouse Island. The Kinsmen will also be on hand to collect new and gently-used snowsuits; Beattie Dodge Chrysler Jeep and the Brockville Road Runners will collect food items for the Brockville and Area Food Bank. Postal workers will be accepting letters to Santa at the Saturday event.

People bringing items are asked to drive their vehicles up to the designated spot and remain in their vehicles while volunteers retrieve the items.

The Blockhouse Island display will close earlier than usual – about 8:30 – on Saturday to allow the static parade to clear the scene.

The River of Lights continues until Jan. 2, every evening from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. There will be static lights from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., then the show, followed by static lights from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The weekend festivities in downtown Brockville began on Friday evening with the official lighting of the Christmas tree display over the fountain on Court House Avenue.

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