MERIDEN – The Silver Lights Festival lighting ceremony will take place on Wednesday evening, city officials confirmed on Monday.
The ceremony will begin at 5:45 p.m. with a performance by the group Meriden Youth Theater, Mayor Kevin Scarpati said. The lighting of more than 300,000 light bulbs will take place shortly after 6 p.m.
“It’s important not only to recognize the hard work of the Meriden Parks Department and their efforts to get everything ready for the holiday season,” said Scarpati, “but to celebrate the wonderful Festival of Lights that Meriden hosts year after year. It gets bigger and better every year.
Earlier this month, Chris Bourdon, director of parks and recreation, said there would be no opening ceremony for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.
Scarpati said on Monday he was very committed to having the lighting ceremony held this year and noted that it would be outside.
“It’s important to celebrate the positives,” Scarpati said. “Especially considering the crazy year and a half we’ve had.”
Scarpati said there are several new features this year, including a lighted arch at the entrance to the exhibit. In previous years, visitors walked past a lighted panel welcoming them to the screen. This year they can walk through a tunnel of light, Scarpati said.
Bourdon said Monday’s shifts have been working since September to prepare all screens. He said the crews have been working hard on the new elements this year.
“It’s not just a job, they go above and beyond and put a lot of effort into it,” Bourdon said.
Hubbard Park has been closed in recent days so crews can set up all exhibit pieces.