Ladysmith Light Up achieves impressive attendance on 30th annivesary

Thousands huddled together all along on First Avenue last Thursday to watch as Ladysmith continued three decades of holiday tradition with its annual Light Up celebration.

The weather conditions couldn’t have been more perfect for late November and the town was already bustling by late afternoon.

Some locals even ditched work early to beat the traffic that comes with a celebration that triples the town’s population on the third Thursday of every November – this year Light Up was held on the fifth week.

“Absolutely super. Good crowd, biggest parade ever, the Credit Union fireworks were amazing, again. The entertainment was great – I think the Light it Up song went over really well,” said Festival president Duck Paterson, recapping the event.

Ladysmith RCMP told the Chronicle that a whopping 31,304 people were on hand as Santa safely landed his sleigh and climbed the ladder to the top of RBC Royal Bank.

There, a giant switch waited for the master of ceremonies to electrify the town with over 200,000 lights – many converted to LEDs in recent years.

“Santa had a great time and he texted me when he left and said to congratulate the whole town and I’ll be back next year,” Paterson added.

The contribution of Light Up’s visionary Bill Fitzpatrick, who died earlier this year, was also acknowledged at several points in the evening.

“I usually ran into him at least once on Light Up day and it was knowing that he wasn’t here (this year), but that he was here,” Paterson said. “Bill was a perfectionist and Bill was into lights, camera, action and he’s pulled it off.”

Once again, the Light Up was also pulled off by a core group of 11 dedicated volunteers who meet throughout the year to plan the event as well as by the dozens of others who help with hanging the lights, setting up the installations and then taking it all down at the end of the six weeks.

“The core group are very dedicated. They live and breath this thing,” Paterson said. “Nanaimo has bathtubs, Chemainus has the murals, Parksville has their sandcastles, Ladysmith has the lights and I don’t know how other communities do it but we do it with volunteers and it wouldn’t happen without them.”

Every year Light Up holds a special lasting memory and this year it might just be the new Locie #11 installation created by Doug West and his team at Ladysmith Marine Services.

“That’s our first real Ladysmith decoration,” Paterson said. “It’s also our first animated decoration – it has history with it.”

But let’s also not forget the parade, with over 70 entries and too many highlights to mention.

However, children’s eyes beamed and parents reached for their cellphones as the dazzling cement truck from Cumberland’s Ready Mix and two crane trucks from Spick & Sons in Powell River were the last to reach the end of the parade route at Aggie Hall.

“For people to go to that expense so that others can have a good time it fascinates me,” Paterson said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Buller Street self-isolation site for homeless dismantled

The site was cleared to meet the September 30 deadline to close

McNab’s Corn Maze is open for pumpkin patch season

The famed farm will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. until October 31

Downtown Public Washroom project ‘shovel ready’ thanks to FortisBC community grant

FortisBC has awarded the Ladysmith Kinsmen Club $15,000 toward the Downtown Public Washroom project

LRCA Volunteer Counselling Program receives $7,500 boost from Oyster Bay Microtel

The Microtel raised funds through the MasterBUILT Common Ground program

B.C. salmon farms challenge activists’ demands for site closures

News reporting also unfair, inaccurate and distorted

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

B.C. salmon farm opponents demand answers from DFO

First Nations, conservation groups dismayed by omission of sea lice in risk assessments

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Most Read