It was a bit early to hear “Merry Christmas,” but it was a common refrain during the Nov. 19 launch of the Festival of Lights at Science North.

Children posed for photos with Santa Claus, hot chocolate was abundant and the grounds’ eclectic collection of lights flashed on for the season at 6 p.m.

Joining the collection of lights were the flashers from a Greater Sudbury fire truck, which children raced toward to learn more about firefighting from local firefighters.

The Science North ground lights are slated to be turned on from 5 p.m. until approximately 10 p.m. nightly until Jan. 6.

“I bet our traffic count has to be over 35,000 people,” former Sudbury Charities Foundation chair John Querney told of the annual display.

“They’re even all the way down to the waterfront, so it’s a drive-by if they want, or if it’s a nice night they can get out of their cars and walk as well.”

The grounds’ collection of lights is put together by the Sudbury Charities Foundation, whose board proudly touts an administrative cost of zero dollars.

For the full story, head to