Volunteers put in hang lights along First Avenue at the 2016 volunteer work party.

Light Up volunteer work party on Nov. 5

Thirty years ago nobody would have even imagined that the fledgling Light Up night event that just few folks were talking about could turn into one of the largest family events on Vancouver Island.

In the minds of those who were trying to perk up downtown and bring folks downtown, to see the local stores and hopefully, to do their Christmas shopping in Ladysmith it was just a struggle to get three stringers across First Avenue. Look at what they created.

Sunday, Nov. 5th is the date for the next community work party to continue this amazing tradition that has really helped to put Ladysmith on the map.

“In 1987 the group consisted of less than 10 people, and even in 2017 the Festival committee is not much larger than that” said Festival chair Duck Paterson.

“But when we need the people they really step up to the plate. Light Up is something that almost all of Ladysmith residents have taken into their hearts.”

“The community work party is the start of Ladysmith putting it’s best foot forward and not only showcasing the town but show casing the community spirit” Paterson said. “That is what has made Light Up the most amazing success it has turned into. The community involvement. Not just the lights or the parade or the spaghetti dinner or the fireworks… those are all part of it… but we could not do it without the folks that come out and make sure we get everything up.”

Paterson said that the 30th anniversary is no exception when it comes to asking for help to kick it off.

The volunteers are asked to gather at the upper 49th Parallel Grocery parking lot at 9 a.m. and will then be dispursed in groups to start putting the lights up along First Avenue as well as Bob Stuart Park, Roberst St and to help put the decorations on the buildings.

We are again fortunate in having the Ladysmith Seniors making a hot lunch for all the volunteers.

Asked how long it takes, Paterson said “usually it’s about three hours … give or take 30 minutes, but it all depends on the volunteers. If we get enough it goes very quickly and we really have to thank the Fire Rescue crew for their huge involvement in helping to get the buildings rebulbed.”

The Festival is asking that any business that needs help to replace their burnout lights to please contact the Festival office at 250-245-5888 before October 30th so that arrangements can be made with the volunteer Hydro crews as well as those from V.I. Tree Service and Ladysmith Fire Rescue.

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