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What's happening in Niagara FallsNovember 19, 2018

Where else but Niagara Falls might November be the most entertaining month of the year?

It started in early November, when the 36th annual Winter Festival of Lights kicked off in Queen Victoria Park across from the falls in a blaze of two million lights.

If you remember driving through in your parents' car as a kid, it's time you came back - you won't recognize it for all the changes the festival has gone through.

Using computerized LED lighting displays spread all the way from the falls area through Dufferin Islands, Clifton Hill and the Fallsview district, the show will make your head spin.

And the days of enjoying it all from the warmth of your car are over (though that's still a good enough way to take it all in).

Many of the displays now are interactive, like the Light Piano 2.0 which, as you play the keyboard, performs a visual symphony of its own with dancing lights and colours.

Or Flower of the Universe outside the Floral Showhouse, which changes colours based on the colours of the clothes you are wearing.

As usual, it won't cost you anything to enjoy the festival, which runs through the end of January, though donations are gratefully accepted at Dufferin Islands.

Added to the menu this year is the Cascades of Fire pyrotechnic competition, involving fireworks teams from China, Italy, Brazil, Finland, Vietnam and Canada.

Over two weekends in November, each team has a night of its own to stage an 18-minute show of explosive power, with the fireworks headed 1,200 feet in the air and visible for miles.

Performances all start at 9 p.m., on Nov. 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 and 18.

To really get yourself and your family into the Christmas spirit, you should come down for Deck The Halls, walking tours that include pop-up carollers, holiday beverages, live entertainment, craft activities and samplings of gourmet food right in the heart of the city's tourist district.

All the walking tours run from 5 to 10 p.m., on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, Dec. 7 and 8. and Dec. 14 and 15. Tickets can be purchased online at www.wfol.com.

Of course, there's plenty more to do - this is Niagara Falls, after all.

In no particular order, why not come to town Dec. 28 for a night of red and white Canadian rock featuring great bands like Tom Cochrane back with Red Rider, Trooper, and Chilliwack.

For something a little quieter, there is the annual chrysanthemum show at the Niagara Parks Commission's Floral Showhouse near the falls. 

It's not just the Christmas flowers that draw thousands of visitors each year, anyone who loves to garden will bask in the colourful show here.

On New Year's Eve in the park - always the biggest outdoor concert of the year here - iconic Canadian singer Burton Cummings will be joined by the Sheepdogs in a show that will be broadcast nationally, with CNN cutting in periodically as well to show the rest of the world what's going on here.

Meanwhile over at the Avalon Ballroom inside the Niagara Fallsview Casino, the holiday favourite Christmas On Ice returns. It's a mix of great skating, wonderful seasonal music and a few laughs. It starts Nov . 22 and runs until Dec. 9, tickets generally go quickly so grab them when you can.

That's just a quick hit on activities going on in the Falls leading into Christmas and New Year's Eve.

And right in the centre of it all, within walking distance of everything, is the Howard Johnson Hotel By The Falls - a perfect base camp for early winter in Niagara Falls.

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Howard Johnson by the Falls is one block to The Falls, Casino and Clifton Hill!