One of Metro Vancouver's largest free holiday lights festivals is cancelled this year

Oct 27 2020, 8:23 pm

You wonā€™t be seeing Lights at Lafarge in Coquitlam this year.

The City of Coquitlam announced on Monday that the holiday-favourite would not be happening this year due to concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lights at Lafarge is one of Coquitlam’s premier annual events.

Given the influx of 8,000 to 10,000 event attendees on peak days in the past, ā€œthe decision to cancel it for 2020 was not made lightly…[and] followed several weeks of consideration of operational challenges and potential costs,” reads a release from the City of Coquitlam.

In order for the city to attempt to accommodate safety concerns, “attendance would need to be rigorously controlled, access restricted through gates and fencing, and contact information obtained.”

“In the end, protecting public health is of paramount concern,” reads the statement.

“Necessary restrictions would be cost-prohibitive and would also negatively impact theĀ thousands of regular park visitors who rely on the Lafarge Lake loop and other park trails for recreation purposes, and their physical and mental health.”

In place of the ticketed festival, the city says there will be “some modest seasonal lighting” added to the park.

The city still hopes to continue the eventā€™s volunteer tradition in the coming months by partnering with local organizations to design lighting elements for future events. More than 600 people helped create and install elements at its Town Centre Park in 2019.

Lights at Lafarge is expected to return in 2021.

If you’re looking to catch some holiday displays this year, the annual Festival of Lights at VanDusen Botanical GardensĀ andĀ Lights of Hope at St. Paul’s HospitalĀ will be back starting next month.

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