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Surrey’s Tree Lighting Festival expands to 2 days on November weekend

Vendors, performers and others are urged to get involved now
Members of VOC Sweet Soul Gospel Choir sing during the annual Surrey Tree Lighting Festival. (Photo:

Surrey’s popular Tree Lighting Festival has become a weekend-long celebration of the holidays.

Held annually at the end of November over the past 13 years, the event will take place on two days this year, not one.

The 2023 festival and holiday market will fill Surrey Civic Plaza with Christmas cheer on Saturday, Nov. 25 and Sunday, Nov. 26, daily from noon to 8 p.m.

Applications are now open for vendors, non-profits, exhibitors, sponsors and performers, event planners at city hall announced Wednesday, Sept. 13.

The Concord Pacific-sponsored festival has been extended to two days “in response to strong interest, support, and feedback from the community,” a news release says.

Last year the event drew a crowd of over 20,000 with a day of free entertainment, children’s activities, food trucks, rides, and photos with Santa.

This year the tree-lighting ceremony will be held Saturday, Nov. 25. The lit tree will be on display throughout the weekend and into January 2024.

To get involved in the festival as a market vendor, exhibitor, sponsor or performer, click on the website

Meantime, Surrey Fusion Festival, another event planned by city hall staff, has won the 2023 Esprit award for Best Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative from International Live Events Association (ILEA).

“This award showcases the festival’s importance internationally, as well as its longstanding commitment to reconciliation, diversity, inclusion, social equity, and anti-racism,” a news release states.

Focused on music, food and culture, Surrey Fusion Festival is a free annual festival held last summer on July 22-23 at Holland Park.

The award is “something for all residents to celebrate,” Mayor Brenda Locke is quoted in the news release. “It recognizes Surrey Fusion Festival’s commitment to increasing cross-cultural understanding and sharing through meaningful and memorable experiences. I would like to extend a sincere thank you to the cultural pavilion organizers, performers, volunteers, sponsors and attendees for their commitment to making Surrey Fusion Festival a world-class event that champions diversity.”

Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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