Music, theatre, parades, and celebrations galore—the city is abuzz with holiday excitement
By Trevor J. Adams
November and December are lively months in Halifax, with dozens of special events to celebrate the holiday season. Read on for our favourites—with an exciting mix traditional classics and new events, there’s plenty here for the whole family.
The Holiday Parade of Lights on November 19 marks the unofficial start of the holiday season in Halifax, as some 100,000 spectators line downtown streets to see dozens of floats and musical acts. Back downtown on November 26, Grand Parade square in front of Halifax City Hall hosts the city’s annual Christmas Tree Lighting, a family-friendly celebration with live entertainment and a visit from Santa. Also on November 26 (and 27), Halifax Citadel National Historic Site hosts its annual Victorian Christmas, sharing Christmas traditions dating back to colonial days. The party moves across the harbour the next weekend, as the park at Sullivan’s Pond hosts the Dartmouth Christmas Tree Lighting on December 3, where the highlights include the Santa Claus Express Train and fireworks.
Symphony Nova Scotia offers holiday concerts galore. Things start with singer/songwriter David Myles joining the orchestra on December 2 and 3. They’ll perform a mix of Christmas classics and original tunes. Up next is perennial favourite The Nutcracker (presented with Mermaid Theatre and Halifax Dance) running from December 9 to 11 and 15 to 18. Another annual rite of the season, Handel’s Messiah, rounds out the schedule on December 22 and 23. A King’s Christmas is back on December 13. A special guest narrator joins the King’s College Chapel Choir at All Saint’s Cathedral on Martello Street for seasonal songs and stories. Paul Halley directs The holidays get a Celtic twist on December 19, as the Barra MacNeils perform A Cape Breton Christmas at the Dalhousie Arts Centre.
December sees the return of a popular holiday-themed comedy event on December 9 and 10 The annual Ha Ha Halidays event comes to the World Trade and Convention Centre on December 11 and 12, with a lineup that includes comedian Greg Morton, a buffet dinner, and live music with Asia & NuGruv.
Neptune Theatre’s long-awaited holiday production begins on November 22 and continues until December 31. Artistic director George Pothitos adapts the Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street for the stage. The holiday pantomime at Theatre Arts Guild is another seasonal mainstay. It’s always a lively, rollicking show with lots of audience participation. This year, The Frog Prince—A Webbed Pantomime runs from November 24 to December 10.
OUT WITH THE OLD
Grand Parade Square in front of Halifax City Hall on Barrington Street hosts a lively all-ages party beginning at 10:30pm. Performers include Neon Dreams, Christina Martin, Christine Campbell, and Atlantic Cirque. At midnight, the East Coasts’s largest New Year’s Eve fireworks show welcomes 2017.