Downtown Kitchener and uptown Waterloo were both busy for the first weekend of ION service.

Both cities BIA’s joined together to throw the Sights and Lights Festival celebrating the arrival of the LRT.

“We’re throwing a party for the region,” said downtown Kitchener BIA executive director Linda Jutzi. “We want to celebrate our businesses.”

Phong Tran, the co-owner of Matter of Taste in Kitchener, says the wait was worth it.

“It will draw other people down here and give them access,” he said. “One of the big things about the downtown is parking space. Hopefully the ION answers some of those issues.”

Paul Spry, the store manager of Loop in Waterloo, says the excitement is mutual in the uptown.

“With the whole tech industry booming and development happening in the area I think this is a nice compliment,” he said.

The festival features a number of events and is the first time the two BIA’s have joined together for a celebration.

The LRT is free to ride until July 1.