The Ladysmith Festival of Lights announced this year’s Light Up festival has been cancelled due to pandemic concerns. It said there will be no formal Light Up events for 2021, but decorations will be placed and lights will be turned on in November.
“This decision to cancel Light Up for this year has been made with a view towards our responsibilities to this community,” reads a notice from the organization. “Potentially, the health of our members, various service groups, the many volunteers and our community could be placed at risk by staging a large public gathering.”
Festival of Lights said it determined cancellation was the “only responsible option under these circumstances.” The usual public setup day scheduled for the first Sunday in November has also been cancelled.
“The lights are still going to be put up, all the decorations are going to happen and everything — it’s just going to be there is no party,” said Duck Paterson, spokesperson for the Festival of Lights. He said the festival traditionally attracts a very large crowd, which could pose a risk of spreading COVID-19.
“The committee felt that the responsible route to go would be to continue with the lights and invite people to come down [to see],” he said. “We didn’t want to invite 30,000 people and take a chance.”
Any member of the community willing to assist with set up may, in small groups, be scheduled to assist by contacting Alex Cook at 250-245-5334 or Greg Edwards at 250-924-6970.