Ladysmith’s 30th annual Festival of Lights comes to an end Sunday

The special anniversary celebration for Ladysmith’s Festival of Lights will officially come to a close next weekend as volunteers begin the process of taking down string of LEDs and installations.

Festival of Lights chair Duck Paterson said the organizing committee felt this was the “most memorable.”

“All good things must come to an end” said Duck Paterson, Festival of Lights chair. “It’s not really coming to an end, we’re just getting ready to take down the 30th edition of Light Up.”

Paterson added that “it’s our first venture into animated decorations with the new Comox Logging Locie #11 decoration as well as the new song about Light Up written by Ed Mulrooney and Ed and Ted Puska, which has already had some radio play and is available on iTunes.”

The Festival also produced a 30th anniversary book in limited numbers.

The book also contains the Light It Up CD.

“Sales of the book were pretty good, we only produced 200 of them, and there are still a few left,” Paterson said. “We don’t plan on doing anymore so if somebody wants to get one we encourage them to act soon.”

Also new for this year, the Festival committee went further into the LED field and feel that they have pretty well got 75 per cent of their decorations and tree lights converted over to the new higher quality LEDs this year and hopefully with successful fundraising can finish it off for 2018.

Paterson said the parade held this year on Nov. 30 was a definite highlight.

“The Kinsmen Parade just keeps getting crazier and crazier. The work those folks put into their floats, so folks can have a good time, really helps to make Light Up the largest family event on Vancouver Island,” he said. “We really hope the cement truck, from Cumberland Ready Mix, can still come down for 2018 but they’re having an issue with the RCMP up there and might not be able to do their lights anymore. That would be a huge shame as it brings so much joy to so many people”.

According to RCMP figures provided to the Chronicle, Light Up 2017 had the largest ever crowd at over 30,000.

“We knew we had a big crowd when we were setting up the traffic and crowd control barricades,” said Festival vice-chair, Alex Cook. “There were people where we didn’t have them before and where we had people in the past it was double… so I guess Light Up has been discovered.”

Paterson said “there was so much great feedback from 2017 our group is going to have a bit of time, once the lights come down, to decipher and file it all.”

This coming Sunday night (Jan. 14) will be the last day all the lights will be turned on.

“We are planning our community take down work party for Sunday Jan. 21st and we hope that we’ll get good support as we’ve done in the past,” Paterson said. “We’re hoping to have a good group of volunteers.”

Volunteers can meet at 9 a.m. at the 49th Grocery. Everybody is welcome and it’s a great family time.

The folks from LaFF are providing a hot lunch at the Aggie Hall for all volunteers.

For more information people can call Duck Paterson at 250-245-2263 or the Festival office at 250-245-5888.

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