The Bright Lights Festival is being retired as Downtown Lethbridge announces a new, extended holiday event.

Heart of the Holidays starts Nov. 15 and will encompass five weeks of activities instead of the one-day event of years past.

Executive Director of the Downtown BRZ, Ted Stilson, says the Bright Lights Festival has been great the past 18 years but it was just one night and very weather dependent.

He refers back to last year when a snowstorm hit early in the morning, putting a damper on the event.

An extended festival, Stilson says, gives residents more opportunity to enjoy the downtown over the holidays.

Skating in festival square will be one of the main attractions as part of the new event as synthetic ice is installed in a small parking area for residents to use free of charge.

Some of the popular Bright Lights Festival attractions, like the horse drawn carriage and visits with Santa, will be carried over to the new event.