Due to the highest probability by the National Weather Service reports calling for up to 60 mph winds, inch size hail and possible tornadoes, the 32nd Annual Lighting of the Doves and 8th Annual International Winter on The Waterway (iWOW) has been postponed from Saturday, November 22, 2014 at Town Green Park and The Woodlands Waterway to Sunday, November 23, 2014. The event will begin at 5 p.m. and Santa is expected to arrive at his customary time around 7 p.m.
Since ancient times, white doves have been symbols of love, peace & purity of heart. The tradition of the Lighting of the Doves in The Woodlands started in 1982 when Mr. Ed Lee, then president of The Woodlands Corporation – forerunner to The Woodlands Operating Company – found a very interesting idea in Hong Kong. Mr. Lee saw giant street displays of white lights and various animals. The one he liked best was a large bird that appeared to be soaring toward the sky. When he returned to The Woodlands, he made arrangements for three huge Doves of Peace to illuminate his beloved community during the holidays. The Doves have been a tradition in The Woodlands every year since. Mr. Lee died of cancer in 1986, but his legacy of the Doves has remained with the community.
The event has traveled all over the community and came to The Woodlands Town Center in 1995. The event, which attracts thousands of visitors, involves the efforts of hundreds of community participants including bands, restaurants, performers, and more. The primary beneficiary is Interfaith of The Woodlands Holiday Toy Drive, generating more than 400 brand new toys each year.
In 2007, The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau introduced a new event called—International Winter On The Waterway (iWOW)—in conjunction with the annual Lighting of the Doves Festival. There are over 100 countries represented in The Woodlands and iWOW showcases holiday traditions from a myriad of countries through exhibits, performers, food, and arts & crafts.
Lighting of the Doves and iWOW kick off the 2014 holiday season in The Woodlands on November 22 in Town Green Park and along The Woodlands Waterway. The festival includes the arrival of Santa Claus on The Woodlands Waterway, interactive booths and games, snow play area, balloon artists, face painters, inflatables, ice carvers, fireworks and more! The event is free and open to the public from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.