Parc Safari inaugurated its festive new installation, Féerie, a wonderland of lights, on November 26 in Hemmingford.
There are four themed lands to discover, including “Magica,” which features a festive holiday display, while “Foresta” highlights giant-sized North American fauna such as bears, buffalo, foxes, and deer. “Arctica” welcomes visitors to a frozen world complete with polar bears and penguins, while “Africa” shines with sparkling lions, zebras, and giraffes.
The event took place in the presence of representatives from the federal and provincial governments, including Chateauguay-Lacolle MP Brenda Shanahan and Huntingdon MNA Carole Mallette, as well as the prefect of the MRC des Jardins-de-Napierville, Yves Boyer, and several municipal councillors. Both Mallette and Shanahan noted how significant funding, provided by various government programs, was instrumental in initiating Féerie.
More than 300,000 lights were used for the project, which includes 85 two- and three-dimensional illuminated structures created by the Joliette-based company, Leblanc Illuminations Canada. The giant elements are located along a pathway that stretches over a kilometre and a half through the park.
Parc Safari president Jean-Pierre Ranger says the sturdy structures were designed to last for several seasons, and the park plans to add to the displays over the years.
“We did not set out to do what Illumi does,” he explains, referring to the annual Laval-based illuminated production by Cavalia. Instead, Ranger describes Féerie as a starting point for a new phase of recreational development at Parc Safari. He says the hope is that by next year, real animals that are able to remain outdoors throughout the winter will be included in the activities. Other goals for the 2023-24 season include the creation of a skating and tube sliding area as well as nature trails through wooded areas and much more. A campground and new parking area are also planned, now that the Commission de Protection du Territoire Agricole (CPTAQ) has authorized the use of an additional 52 hectares of land owned by the park.
During the run up to Christmas, the Place D’Afrique plaza will be transformed into a festive market where producers and artisans from the Montérégie region will be selling locally made products on December 16 to 18 and again on December 23 and 24. Children will also be able to chat with Santa Claus and the Filouminous mascots and enjoy the new Discovery Pavillion, which features displays of rocks, minerals, and fossils that trace the evolution of life on Earth. Féerie will be open each weekend, Friday to Sunday from 4 p.m., until March 12.