While Christmas celebrations might be scaled back this year, the City of White Rock’s Festival of Lights will be anything but.
Last February, the City of White Rock approved a scaled-up version of the Festival of Lights for 2020. Council made the decision Feb. 10, weeks before a global pandemic put a damper on annual celebrations.
However, the City’s recreation and culture manager Eric Stepura confirmed to council Oct. 19 that the show will go on, expanded both in size, and the number of days it will open to the public.
This year, the event will extend from the white rock to Oxford Street and run from Nov. 28 to Jan. 9. Last year, the event was centralized in Memorial Park and ran for 29 days.
Event organizers will work with city staff to develop a COVID-19 safety plan, Stepura said, noting that the City has experience developing similar plans for city recreation centres and arenas.
While expanded, the Festival of Lights will not have all the bells and whistles it did last year.
Last year’s ‘Jingle Bell White Rock’ ceremonial light-up and family event won’t return this year, nor will other entertainment be provided by the city.
“This is an event where people are to come through the park, stroll around, but no way are we looking at setting up any attractions which would encourage people to gather,” Stepura told council.
This year’s event will feature three 30-foot tall trees, one in Memorial Park, one near Oxford and one at East Beach.