Public Dreams reports 40,000 returned to Trout Lake for Illuminares
The Public Dreams Society is reporting that 40,000 people turned out for Illuminares on its first return to Trout Lake in two years.
That's a staggering number, and a lot more than the 15,000 it drew last year to Canada Place. If it's right, it's even more than the 25,000 or so Illuminares was attracting at its height in the mid 2000s.
And let's take it as a pretty sure sign that the event will stay put in its traditional Drive 'hood for its 25th anniversary next year; in fact, Public Dreams has said as much.
The event has struggled over the past few years, with an outright cancellation in 2008 due to skyrocketing costs, a move indoors to the old Storyeum in 2010, and then the Canada Place event.
Now, with these numbers, the East Side community has resolutely reclaimed the lantern festival, which Public Dreams said took about 500 volunteers to pull off.
In fact, people were so PO'd when Public Dreams cancelled the event in 2008, that the chair of the parks board actually had to warn them against holding an unofficial version of the fest without proper permits.
You can't blame them for being choked. Trout Lake is where it all started, in 1989, when the first Illuminares drew only 300 people and was predominantly a small neighbourhood lantern procession around the lake.