Downtown Halifax Showcases the Best of the Holidays

November 16/20
Downtown Halifax Showcases the Best of the Holidays

Like so many things in 2020, the holidays will look a little different in Downtown Halifax. Although, Downtown Halifax Business Commission’s (DHBC) annual Halifax Lights Festival will not be happening this this year due to gathering limits, there is plenty of shopping and dining as well as safe, outdoor events in Downtown Halifax.

“Just because we’re doing things differently this year, doesn’t mean we’ll be lacking holiday spirit,” said Paul MacKinnon, DHBC Chief Executive Officer. “There is still so much to see and do. With the addition of Shopping Under the Stars in Downtown Halifax, the first-ever Evergreen Festival on the Halifax Waterfront, and a 26-foot LED tree in the soon-to-be-named Peace and Friendship Park, visitors can make a day out of their shopping and dining excursion.”

Holiday Highlights in Downtown Halifax:


Wander through Peace and Friendship Park to enjoy the winter-themed lighting, complete with LED lit tree-wraps and snowflakes decorations. The tree-wraps include 9,000 high-efficiency bulbs, consuming less than two amps. The tree lights will be up throughout the winter season until the end of March. The LED holiday tree is back but it’s bigger and more beautiful than ever. Standing at 26 feet tall, it’s a must-see this year. In addition, PBJ Design, as part of DHBC’s Gritty to Pretty placemaking grant program, has set up an interactive, glowing hallway in the park. Find out more about Gritty to Pretty at


Develop Nova Scotia and Discover Halifax created a new winter festival. Inspired by European holiday markets, Evergreen Festival is a four-week-long, all-ages, outdoor holiday festival that will come to life across the waterfront and throughout Downtown Halifax, November 28 to December 20. From the Halifax waterfront to Spring Garden Road, Evergreen Festival welcomes locals and visitors to Downtown Halifax for four weeks of safe, diverse, outdoor festivities to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. For more information and the full line-up of events, visit


DHBC is excited to partner with Spring Garden Area Business Association (SGABA) on the Shopping Under the Stars (SUTS) event this holiday season. SUTS is two special evenings of late shopping and holiday fun, and will take place on Friday, November 27, and Friday, December 4, from 5:00 to 10:00 pm, both evenings. Participating businesses will be extending their store hours for the two nights, offering special holiday promotions, and/or organizing a safe activation in their storefront. For the online guide of participating businesses, visit and


Stop by the Downtown Halifax Welcome Centre during Shopping Under the Stars, at 1546 Barrington Street, on November 27 and December 4, from 5:00 to 10:00 pm. There will be carollers and free, individually wrapped holiday cookies from Scanway Catering and Durty Nelly’s outside to get visitors into the holiday spirit. DHBC will be accepting monetary donations during SUTS for the Navigator Street Outreach Program, which will go towards supporting and helping street-involved individuals in Downtown Halifax. For more information on the Navigator Street Outreach Program, visit


The 2020 edition of the Downtown Halifax Holiday Gift Guide is bigger and better than ever. DHBC is partnering with Spring Garden Area Business Association to offer the best shopping, dining, and experiences in the area with almost 80 participating businesses. View the online version of the Guide at


Due to the current restrictions on public gatherings, the in-person aspect of the Parade will not take place, however, on Saturday, November 21, at 6:00 pm, Eastlink Television will be broadcasting a “best of” Holiday Parade of Lights and encouraging local businesses and restaurants to show the parade and give customers the opportunity to carry out some of their traditions. This year, Downtown restaurants will show the Eastlink Best of Holiday Parade of Lights at their establishments and ask patrons that evening to add a donation to Feed Nova Scotia to their bill. For more information or to make a donation directly to Feed Nova Scotia, visit


Enjoy some holiday music while you shop and dine in Downtown Halifax. Catch the carollers at the following times and locations:

  • Both SUTS nights, November 27 and December 4, outside of the DHBC Welcome Centre at 1546 Barrington Street
  • Saturdays, November 28 to December 20 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and Sundays 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market
  • Saturday, December 5, from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Halifax Brewery Farmers Market
  • More TBA


Find a listing of other events and promotions in Downtown Halifax at


Parking lots and parkades around the Downtown Halifax and Spring Garden area will be offering free parking during the timeframe of SUTS (5:00-10:00 pm). Metro Park, at 1554 Hollis Street, will be offering free parking during both nights of SUTS. Develop Nova Scotia is offering free parking in the pay-by-plate lots along the Waterfront both nights of SUTS and every Saturday and Sunday, during the month of December. Find out more about parking in Downtown Halifax at

For holiday updates, visit, like the Downtown Halifax Facebook page, or follow @DowntownHalifax on Twitter and Instagram.