The Lions Festival of Lights display at Confederation Park Golf Course will go ahead this year.
Back in June, the Lions Club announced it was being forced to cancel the popular display after its volunteers were refused the access it says is required to get the lights in place before the end of November.
“It was all about access as far as we were concerned," said Lions Festival of Lights chair Otto Silzer. "The right to get on to the golf course before the golf course closed (for the season).”
“We don’t even understand why it has become such a major issue.”
The impasse stems from access to the fairways of holes 3,4,5 and 6 during the last two weeks of October.
At that point, the golf course is normally still in operation. Festival organizers say the city felt that presented too much risk.
“Everybody has concerns on an active golf course that you might get hit by an errant golf ball, but if proper safety procedures are in place I don’t see that as being an issue,” says festival volunteer Earl Hoefling.
This year, as it turns out, the Confederation course is closing early for some long needed maintenance.
As a result, the city says it can allow festival volunteers on in mid-October.
"The City and Calgarians appreciate the work of the Lions Festival of Lights Society over the years to bring a fantastic seasonal display to life," said Katie Black, Acting General manager of Community Services. "We are grateful both parties are committed to finding solutions that would result in the continuation of this family-friendly, accessible seasonal light display."
Silzer stresses the deal to turn on the lights is only for this year.
“This is a stop-gap just for the 2019 display. We are working on a future display or future agreement that will address the issues.”
The City says negotiations will continue to work on a long term agreement
The Lions Club has operated the 500,000 bulb Festival of Lights at Confederation park since 1986.
This year the lights will turn on the evening of November 30th, and remain on until January 8th.