St. Lawrence Parks Commission’s Three Thrilling Halloween Experiences Boost Local Economies This Fall
Morrisburg, ON — St. Lawrence Parks Commission (SLPC) ushered in the fall season with a thrilling trio of Halloween experiences, offering guests a range of options to celebrate autumn in Eastern Ontario. From pumpkin delights to terrifying frights, SLPC’s fall experiences in Kingston and Morrisburg attracted more than 75,000 guests, casting a spell of excitement and economic impact across the region.
Pumpkinferno, a mesmerizing luminary experience featuring thousands of handcrafted, glowing pumpkins continues to be a family-friendly favourite. Originating in 2012 at Upper Canada Village and expanding to the Kingston market two years ago, this year the signature event ran in both Morrisburg and at a new Kingston location, Kingston Penitentiary. 2023 also marked the bone-chilling return of Fort Fright to Fort Henry in Kingston, a scare attraction featuring more than 50 movie-style, quality animatronics, dynamic special effects, intense sound and lighting and a large number of costumed scare actors. First introduced at Fort Henry in 2007 was back by popular demand after a two-year hiatus.
Fall events like Pumpkinferno and Fort Fright play a key role in extending the tourism season. With fall special events at all three historic attractions this year, SLPC was able to maximize its draw post-core season, generating important economic spinoff for local communities and the Eastern Ontario region. The positive impact of these three fall events is estimated at nearly $9M, according to the Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model (TREIM). The increased spending directly and indirectly benefits restaurants, accommodations, retail and transportation providers and other businesses across South Eastern Ontario.
“Congratulations to the St. Lawrence Parks Commission on the success of Pumpkinferno and Fort Fright,” said Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism Culture and Sport. “These popular events showcased the magic of fall in Eastern Ontario and provided a welcomed boost to the local economy. They are a part of what makes our province the four-season tourist destination that visitors from near and far keep choosing to discover.”
In particular, Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village continues to illuminate the South-Dundas-Glengarry region with the greatest economic impact, offering a boon to small businesses and commerce in the eastern end of the St. Lawrence corridor.
“Pumpkinferno is a must-see attraction bringing guests from all across Eastern Ontario & Western Quebec regions,” said Nolan Quinn, Member of Provincial Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. “The Parks of the St. Lawrence have done a tremendous job in developing and growing the exhibits, including new pumpkin carvings every season. My family always look forward to attending Upper Canada Village every fall to take in the thousands of carved pumpkins.”
“We are pleased to have contributed to strong economic activity levels in Eastern Ontario during a time of year that is typically slower for tourism,” said SLPC Chair, Hon. Bob Runciman. “This is particularly meaningful in a year where people are choosing how to spend their discretionary income very carefully. By offering guests different experience options as well as their favourite annual fall tradition in two distinct locations, we were able to appeal to the market and make these experiences accessible to them. These kinds of guest-focused program enhancements are how we will continue to drive economic prosperity in the region while also providing memorable cultural and recreational experiences for visitors.”
Upper Canada Village is now preparing for the 23rd season of Alight at Night, one of Ontario’s largest outdoor light festivals which features more than a million lights. The picture-perfect Alight at Nightfestival runs from December 1, 2023 to January 6, 2024 in Morrisburg.