Summerland local plans for a new light up event that follows safety protocols

Summerland will light up

Hoping to bring light in a time of darkness, one Summerland resident has planned to keep the spirit of their famous light up event going, by making it a drive-by. 

Summerland Light Up 2020 is a drive-by display event for people to enjoy the lights of the area, running from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 27. 

The usually annual ‘Festival of Lights’ and  'Light Up the Vines' events bring crowds of people to the area, but were both cancelled due to COVID-19 safety protocols.   

“Light Up has been a big tradition here in Summerland for many years, when it was closed down so many people from the community were so discouraged,” Paul Biro, the organizer of the new event said.  “For the town, it's just one of our favourite days of the year.” 

Biro’s house is the starting location, featuring a nativity scene with live actors, Santa and Mrs. Claus and elves handing out candy canes. Each group of performers is in their own family cohort and spaced out from the other to ensure proper COVID-19 social protocols.   

“We are doing this to add some light in a dark year in a safe and responsible manner." 

Biro's family will be handing out candy canes and maps with masks and gloves on.

“We're gonna give out as many candy canes as we can afford...I think we've got about 800 candy canes if people want them, we might go get more,” Biro laughed.  

So far speaking with town officials, nobody has told him he can't run it. 

“This is my business too. I'm writing Covid-19 protocols, my company and my staff are writing protocols for shows, we're doing all over the country... It's all I do right now,” Biro explained. ”We're familiar with what we have to do to make it safe for people and that's why we created this thing.”

The community reaction so far has been surprising for the family, seeing how many people are looking forward to it. 

“I didn't think like hundreds of people would want to drive by...I am amazed so many people are excited about it.” 

Biro requests for drivers to enter Quinpool off Rosedale Avenue and head west to 10116 Quinpool to start the tour.

“We don’t want thousands of people downtown at one time but we do want people to know Summerland is open for business and a safe amazing place for unique shopping, all season long as COVID restrictions allow.”

Alcar storage is also on the map route and will be accepting any donations to the food bank. 

A few Summerland businesses, Grannys, The Beanery and Maple Roch will be open until 9 p.m. that evening, selling hot chocolate and treats. 

“Again people need to have a mask and must social distance.”

For more information on the event, email [email protected]

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