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Half a million lights up at Lafarge, but poor weather hampers turnout for opening

Rain, wind and snow has stopped the big crowds from touring Lights at Lafarge for its opening.
Anna Durovic
Lights at Lafarge in Coquitlam runs until Jan. 31, 2022.

Nearly half a million lights are up this year for Lights at Lafarge.

But the poor weather has been holding off the crowds to see the seasonal light display at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park.

Heavy rain stood in the way for the opening weekend, which started Nov. 27, and, since then, it’s been a mix of more rain, wind and snow — prompting partial trail closures around the loop.

“It’s definitely been slower,” said Wendy Wiederick, Coquitlam’s parks operations manager, “so, luckily, we haven’t had too many issues with capacity just yet.”

But for those who manage to catch a clear night to see the 479,000 lights, viewers can enjoy the new elements added by city crews and the 750 Park Spark volunteers in the Light Brigade. 

These include a castle with a dragon on the eastern side, as well as a Canadiana theme on the northern end of the lake.

The caterpillar has been replaced by two multi-light tunnels at the north, while the red arches are lit on the western side.

And more features will be installed soon around the hoop house, on the trail leading to the Inspiration Garden and behind the Evergreen Cultural Centre, Wiederick said.

The lights are timed to be on from 4 to 10:30 p.m. each night until Jan. 31, 2022; however, they will stay on until midnight on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31.

As well, park hosts, staff and volunteers will also be on site between 4:30 and 9:30 p.m. to help guide viewers along the one-way paths. 

Wiederick said the selfie stations — such as the white light backdrop at the bench along Guildford Way — are off the main route to avoid congestion; another smaller light tunnel is also expected to go up at the northern end to prevent the main tunnels from getting blocked by picture takers, she said.

Meanwhile, on the city’s south side, Mackin Park (1046 Brunette Ave., Coquitlam) is also lit for the holidays, with the upper plaza trees decorated.

“It’s a different kind of experience than Lights at Lafarge but quite stunning,” Wiederick said. 

• For more information about Lights at Lafarge, visit coquitlam.ca/lights. To volunteer with Park Spark, email parkspark@coquitlam.ca.