Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)

Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

COVID-19 may have cancelled this year’s Light Up parade in Ladysmith, but 1st Avenue is still aglow with thousands of twinkling lights.

RELATED: Ladysmith Light Up cancelled, but decorations will still go up

Ladysmith Festival of Lights president Alex Cook said that putting up this year’s lights was a challenge.

“We couldn’t have our public work parties that normally happens on the first Sunday of November. Normally, we’d get 75 to 100 people out to help with putting up the lights.”

The alternative was for Festival of Lights members to set up as many lights as they could on their own. Festival of Lights volunteers were helped by about 30 volunteers who worked in small family bubbles.

“It created a challenge in that we had to get the materials out to them, and direct them to the areas to work on, while keeping them separate from everyone else,” Cook said.

Every year, BC Hydro volunteers bucket trucks to help string lights and set decorations in high places. That effort was complicated this year by the recent November windstorm, but BC Hydro made sure to get the job done.

“We certainly appreciate them. Without those trucks it’d be a hard time to get all our rooftop decorations up,” Cook said.

Ladysmith’s trademark lights will stay up until January 15, giving plenty of time for folks to drive down 1st Avenue and take in the annual display.

On what would have been the 33rd annual Ladysmith Light Up, there were none of the usual festivities — no music on the street, no parade floats, no holiday treats, no festival goers outside in their coats, — but Cook says that he’s proud of Festival of Lights volunteers for bringing some Christmas joy to Ladysmith.