Ladysmith Festival of Lights

Festival of LightsThe 21st annual Ladysmith Festival of Lights begins at 3 pm on Thursday, November 27, 2008, with a community spaghetti dinner ($8) at Eagles Hall, 921 First Avenue, and a Christmas Craft Fair at Aggie Hall, 1110 First Avenue. Street entertainment and food concessions open at 4 pm, then entertainment on a stage in front of Aggie Hall at 5 pm. Santa arrives at 6:30 pm to officially light up Ladysmith and it’s striking to see the whole town suddenly transformed from darkness to a spectacle of hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights. The Kinsmen Parade along First Avenue to Aggie Hall is at 6:45 pm, followed by a huge fireworks display. Parking will be in short supply and a good plan is to park at Transfer Beach on the waterfront and use the shuttle bus service.

The Ladysmith Festival of Lights project was initiated in 1987 when Bill Fitzpatrick and a couple of Ladysmith Merchants agreed that new and more festive street decorations were needed to compliment Ladysmith’s successful heritage/revitalization project. Through the creativity of these people, the Festival of Lights was born and many hours, days, and years of work began.

“From the last Thursday in November until the second Sunday in January, Ladysmith, British Columbia, comes alive with shimmering lights. The early focus was to decorate the downtown core. This was soon changed to include Coronation Mall and then to expand to the blocks surrounding the downtown area, and hopefully to include the entire town” says director Duck Paterson.

“The Town of Ladysmith has been behind the Festival of Lights since its inception. Without that support, Ladysmith would certainly not be the Light Up Capital of Vancouver Island. For 2008 the Festival committee and the Town of Ladysmith have partenered in purchasing and installing three new sets of lampstandards for the downtown core. These will be used to hang the three new stringers FOL has to help fill in the “black holes” we have and it will look more like the new north end of town” Paterson said.

The Ladysmith and District Credit Union has always been a major backer and this year they are sponsoring the fireworks which will be the biggest such show ever done. Local businesses also throw their backing behind the Festival and many, many donations are received from them annually. Island Farms Dairy became our first corporate sponsor and Remax Ocean Pointe Realty (always a big supporter) has become a sponsor the past four years. Achannel has stepped forward, the past three years, and has donated all the TV promotion and it has made a big difference for the committee and brought increased awareness to our community.

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