The Surrey Tree Lighting Festival is a family event marking the start of the winter season with the lighting of a giant Christmas tree at Surrey City Hall.
In addition to the Christmas tree and various activities for children, highlights of the event for everyone include an afternoon of festivities with free live concerts.
Surrey Tree Lighting Festival
In 2020, the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival was scheduled to take place online from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm on Saturday, November 21st. It was originally going to be a live event, but then had to be a virtual event because of COVID-19 concerns instead.
The Surrey Tree Lighting Festival has always been a FREE event that typically includes storytelling and family-friendly activities for children, holiday crafts, food trucks, live entertainment and the lighting of a 60-foot Christmas tree in the plaza outside Surrey City Hall.
In years when there isn’t a global pandemic, the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival takes place in the Civic Plaza at Surrey City Hall and in the City Hall Atrium at 13450-104 Avenue in Surrey. Some activities also take place next door in the Surrey City Centre Public Library.
The venue is conveniently located right by the Surrey Central SkyTrain Station.
Below is a list of performers from 2019. Future lineups will likely be comparable.
- Leisure Club
- Hotel Mira
- Dreams: The Ultimate Tribute to Fleetwood Mac
- Glass Forest
- Antonio Larosa
- Westcoast Harmony Chorus
- The Kwerks
- Réjean Bussières
- Santa and Mrs. Claus
- La Trompette de Noël
- Malcom Aiken Trio
Festival Date and Schedule
Festival activities usually run from 12:00 to 8:00 pm on the Saturday of the event. However, as stated above, the festival ran from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm as a virtual event in 2020. Dates and details for the 2021 festival are to be determined.
2019 Main Stage Entertainment
The 2019 live performance schedule on the festival’s Main Stage outside in the Plaza featured the following groups (and 2021 will likely be comparable):
- 12:20 pm – Ginalina/Mrs. Claus (emcee) and Krystle Dos Santos performs O Canada
- 12:55 pm – Santa’s Arrival
- 1:00 pm – Malcolm Aiken Trio
- 2:00 pm – Turunesh
- 3:00 pm – Antonio Larosa
- 4:00 pm – Hotel Mira
- 5:30 pm – Dreams: Fleetwood Mac Tribute Band
- 6:30 pm – Official Tree Lighting Ceremony
- 6:45 pm – Begonia
Performances that took place on the Snowflake Stage indoors in the City Hall Atrium the last year the live event took place included the following:
- 12:30 pm – The Kwerks
- 1:00 pm – Langley Ukulele Ensemble
- 2:00 pm – Robin Layne and the Rhythm Makers
- 3:00 pm – Glass Forest
- 4:00 pm – Muevete
- 5:00 pm – Leisure Club
Performances on the Tree Riser Stage outside in the Civic Plaza were the following a couple of years ago:
- 1:40 pm – Princess Margaret Secondary Choir
- 2:40 pm – Westcoast Harmony Chorus
- 3:40 pm – Princess Margaret Secondary Choir
- 5:00 pm – Westcoast Harmony Chorus
The following performances took place in the City Centre Library the last time the festival happened:
- 12:00 pm – Angels on High
- 1:00 pm – Rejean Bussieres
- 2:00 pm – Ginalina
- 3:00 pm – The Kwerks
- 3:30 pm – Westcoast Harmony Chorus: a Surrey-based all-women a cappella group.
In the Market
In the market area at the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival in 2019 there were also half-hour Meet & Greet sessions with Mickey and Minnie Mouse at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 and 5:00 pm. There were also short half-hour performances from Rejean Bussieres, Shelley Eckstein, Angels on High, Norma McKnight, Olin Brinx, La Trompette de Noel, Krystel Dos Santos and Bre McDaniel throughout the day.
In addition to the above mentioned live entertainment, activities at the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival most years include ice-carving demonstrations, miniature train rides, a Christmas market, photos with Santa Claus, road hockey games, a Ferris wheel to ride and crafts and storytelling for children. Also at the event most years are food trucks and a giant snow globe.
Festival Tips and Advice
Below are suggestions on how to make the most of your festival experience.
TIP #1: The concerts with headliner bands are especially popular. Head to the stage area well before their performances if you want a good view of some of the more well-known musicians and their shows.
TIP #2: Take public transit. Parking in the area will be a challenge, Surrey Central SkyTrain Station is right next door, and being a Saturday a single zone transit ticket will get you there from anywhere within Metro Vancouver.
For more information about the Surrey Christmas event in November see the Surrey Tree Lighting Festival website.
For other events going on this time of year in other parts of the Lower Mainland, click any of the following:
- Vancouver’s November Calendar
- Free Events in November
- Vancouver’s December Calendar
- Festivals & Events Calendar
- Top Things to do at Christmas