COQUITLAM, B.C., Oct. 26, 2020 – Coquitlam has officially cancelled the 2020 Lights at Lafarge display to comply with provincial COVID-19 health orders and help ensure the safety of the community.
The City made the difficult decision to cancel the popular annual light display at Town Centre Park this year based on the continuing Provincial Health Officer's ban on gatherings and events.
Launched in 2011, the light display at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park has grown over the years to become one of Metro Vancouver’s largest free holiday light displays, featuring lights and festive installations along the 1.2-kilometre route around Lafarge Lake. In past years, hundreds of thousands of people from across the region strolled the route from late November to late January, with as many as 8,000 to 10,000 in attendance on peak days.
Preventing the Spread of COVID-19
Lights at Lafarge is one of Coquitlam’s premier events, and the decision to cancel it for 2020 was not made lightly. This decision followed several weeks of consideration of operational challenges and potential costs, as well as possible options to safely hold the event in another manner.
To comply with the health order, attendance would need to be rigourously controlled, access restricted through gates and fencing, and contact information obtained. Necessary restrictions would be cost-prohibitive and would also negatively impact the thousands of regular park visitors who rely on the Lafarge Lake loop and other park trails for recreation purposes, and their physical and mental health.
In the end, protecting public health is of paramount concern.
The City plans to bring back Lights at Lafarge in 2021.
Park and Trails Open for Recreational Use
While there will be no light displays, events or activities of any kind within the park, some modest seasonal lighting will be added in the park as Town Centre Park and its trails continue to serve the important function of providing safe outdoor spaces for local residents to exercise and enjoy nature.
The City will also carry on the event’s strong volunteer tradition by safely working with local schools and organizations over the coming months to create lighting elements for future displays. Last year, more than 650 people helped create and install elements along the route.
Plan Your Own Light Display or Tour
Residents can re-create some of the magic of Lights at Lafarge by making their own pop bottle tulip lights. Click on the Outdoors section at www.coquitlam.ca/spirit for simple video instructions.
As the holidays grow near, watch for listings of light displays at homes around the Tri-Cities to appear in the local newspaper and online and plan a fun light tour with the family or those within your bubble.
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General Manager, Parks, Recreation, Culture & Facilities
City of Coquitlam