Lights of St. Mary's

Awarded in 2009
Lights of St. Mary's

The houses at St. Mary's First Nation, on Fredericton's north side, are not that different from many suburban buildings erected in the last half-century. This is so until Christmas season arrives. Then a spectacle bursts forth that lights the holiday nights and draws in visitors from near and far. Every home in the community is festooned with arrays of Christmas lights. It's like something from the movies, but, taken as a whole, it is a real-life joyous celebration of the season, of neighbourliness, of community spirit and pride. Visitors pour in from other parts of the city and surrounding countryside. Tour buses arrive from distant points. By Christmas Eve, the traffic on the local streets is bumper-to-bumper. In 2002-03, the display won a national "Winterlights Celebration" competition, but St. Mary's Chief Candace Paul said the real achievement happens closer to home: "Barriers, both real and perceived, have broken down, and the Christmas lights are a very positive outcome of this. It's our gift to Fredericton."