COVID-19 may have cancelled this year’s Light Up parade in Ladysmith, but 1st Avenue is still aglow with thousands of twinkling lights.
Visiting the annual light up has become a tradition for many Vancouver Island families, one organizers are happy to continue – in a safe way and without the usual kick-off crowds.
Ladysmith Festival of Lights president Alex Cook says that putting up this year’s lights was a challenge.
“We couldn’t have our public work parties that normally happens on the first Sunday of November. Normally, we’d get 75 to 100 people out to help with putting up the lights.”
The alternative was for Festival of Lights members to set up as many lights as they could on their own, helped by about 30 volunteers who worked in small family bubbles.
“It created a challenge in that we had to get the materials out to them, and direct them to the areas to work on, while keeping them separate from everyone else,” Cook says.
Every year, BC Hydro volunteers bucket trucks to help string lights and set decorations in high places. That effort was complicated this year by the recent November windstorm, but BC Hydro made sure to get the job done.
“We certainly appreciate them. Without those trucks it’d be a hard time to get all our rooftop decorations up,” Cook said.
On what would have been the 33rd annual Ladysmith Light Up, there were none of the usual festivities – no music on the street, no parade floats, no holiday treats, no festival-goers outside in their coats – but Cook says that he’s proud of Festival of Lights volunteers for bringing some Christmas joy to Ladysmith.
Please note that current Provincial Health Protocols currently advise against travelling outside your region to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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