This year’s Light Up night will once again see many-a-person scurrying the local streets, but one familiar face is moving down from stage to street level.
For the first time in over a decade, singer and keyboard player Fred Izon will attend the Festival of Lights merely as a spectator, rather than a performer.
Since 1999, the past 14 years, Izon performed and entertained the public on the festival’s main stage alongside a couple of close friends.
But as if often said in life, all good things must come to an end.
“I just felt it was time to pass it on to somebody else from the town,” said Izon, who is looking forward to joining up with the inevitable large crowd come November 28. His loyalties remain strong.
“I did leave a message with them to let me know if they needed me and it did cross my mind to step back in,” Izon admits.
Originally from Ladysmith, Izon moved back to town from Horsefly in the Kootenays in ’99, following the death of his father.
He was then approached by town stalwart and current councillor, Duck Paterson, to become more actively involved.
Izon took upon Paterson’s offer with aplomb and also performed at Ladysmith’s car show, every August, for 10 years.
“I always set up on the main stage by Royal Bank of Canada (on Light Up night) where the Santa Claus is,” said Izon. “Then I used to start performing around 4:30 p.m. and then would tear down when the parade started.”
Izon has fond memories of the festival.
“All of them are great, even when it’s pouring,” he said. “To see so many people come out to the town is something else. The nightttime parade is just the best.
This year will arguably be one of Izon’s more relaxing Festival of Lights in recent times.
“This will be my first year where I can walk up and down the street.”