The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Ladysmith Festival of Lights to cancel its hugely popular light up festivities this year, which usually includes a parade and fireworks.
The event draws an average of 25,000 people to the town each year. Many line the town’s 1st Avenue to watch Santa flip the switch on over 200,000 lights.
While the parade may not be happening this year, the Festival of Lights won’t be pulling the plug on the actual light display.
Volunteers are currently working hard to install all the lights and decorations before the end of November.
Then, on Nov. 26, the lights are expected to be flipped on – except without the crowds. Organizers are asking politely for people to stay away when the lights do get turned on.
“We want people to come and see them but we don’t want to have thousands of people coming at one time because we just need to stay safe,” said Duck Paterson, volunteer with the Ladysmith Festival of Lights.
The festival is also encouraging people to come and enjoy the lights during the holiday season. Everyone is asked to follow COVID-19 safety protocols while doing so.
The lights will be on display until Sunday, Jan. 9, 2021.