Coquitlam's annual free Lights at Lafarge seasonal display cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19

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      Unfortunately, a popular seasonal light display in Metro Vancouver won’t light up holiday spirits this year.

      The City of Coquiltam announced that it made the difficult decision to cancel the Lights at Lafarge 2020 display in consideration of provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s ban on gatherings and events during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      The city explained in a news release on October 26 that in order to meet health order compliance, attendance would need to be controlled, access restricted to gates and fencing, and contact information recorded.

      The city stated that restrictions would be “cost-prohibitive” and affect regular park attendees who use the Lafarge Lake loop and park trails for recreation and for their physical and mental health.

      This attraction has been presented annually at Town Centre Park since 2011 and is one of Metro Vancouver’s largest free holiday lighting displays that attracts hundreds of thousands of people from November to January.

      The display features lights and installation on a 1.2-kilometre route around Lafarge Lake. Peak attendance in past years has risen to about 8,000 to 10,000 people.

      The city will be adding some seasonal lighting in the park and is planning to bring Lights at Lafarge back in 2021.

      For those looking for an outdoor seasonal light display, the annual Festival of Lights display at VanDusen Botanical Garden will be held from November 27 to January 3. However, it will operate with health precautions in place and will accommodate about 20 percent of its usual capacity.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook.