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Coquitlam's Lights at Lafarge offering more than just twinkling bulbs

Holiday pop-up stations are around Town Centre Park to enhance the 2022 experience, and there's more lights to gaze in awe at Mackin Park.
Lights at Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam's Town Centre Park are on display until Jan. 31, 2023.

Thousands of Tri-Cities residents have descended on Coquitlam's Town Centre Park to take in the sights and sounds of Lights at Lafarge.

In the first week since its launch on Nov. 26, visitors have posted photos and videos to social media of what's considered Metro Vancouver's largest free outdoor display, which includes nearly 100,000 bulbs set up by city crews last month.

And for 2022, organizers decided to expand and enhance the popular attraction by adding pop-up stations, themed evenings and a second lights location in south Coquitlam.

Mackin Park (1046 Brunette Ave.) will also be decked out for the holidays with lights and floral elements around the trees and ornamental garden.

Like last year, city officials are considering leaving the Mackin lights up for Festival du Bois, the annual French-Canadian fete that's scheduled for April 1 to 3, 2023.

Parking for the Maillardville attraction is available on the east side of the park off King Edward Street and on the west side off Nelson Street. 

Around Lafarge Lake, new elements in the 2022 display include a field of icicles on the festival lawn, a heart fabricated by shop students at Centennial Secondary, an ice area with igloos and animals, a double archway and a lit path from the Inspiration Garden.

Favourites like the lighted tunnel, hobbit house and the castle are also back.

Food trucks are at the park as well, and the Rocky Point Ice Cream concession is open, offering icy treats as well as hot chocolate.

Coquitlam parks operations manager Sara Yastremski explained themed nights and activities are also on the docket for Lights at Lafarge this year, including scavenger hunts and "light up" sports."

As well, Yastremski said Jingle Bells Night is returning as carolers will invite patrons to join a seasonal sing-a-long and interact with roving mascots.

Singers will be at the TD Community Plaza for the Dec. 17 event. Caroling groups interested in participating are asked to email [email protected].

Other activities planned by Coquitlam Park Spark team include:

  • Dec. 3 = Frozen night
  • Dec. 6 = Scavenger hunt
  • Dec. 7 = Festive caroling with Collage Choir
  • Dec. 8 = "Light it up" sports
  • Dec. 9 = Festive caroling with CA Church
  • Dec. 10 = Mascot parade

Last year, due to park construction and COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the light display and public activities at Town Centre Park were curbed. Still, despite the setbacks and cold weather, the turn-out was "much higher than anticipated," said Wendy Wiederick, Coquitlam’s parks operations manager.

Weekends draw busier crowds 

Coquitlam is also alerting interested residents to plan their visit to Lights at Lafarge if they wish to avoid larger crowds.

The city said the event may also run longer than usual, depending on the weather, to extend the show until mid-February for walkers to beat the winter blues.

Lights will be displayed at dusk until 11 p.m. nightly until mid-February, as well as midnight on New Year's Eve (Dec. 31).

The attraction's busiest time is on Saturdays and Sundays, presenting challenges for parking, so patrons are encouraged to avoid weekends altogether or consider taking transit to Town Centre Park.

While any hour of the evening presents a good oppportunity for photos and videos, Yastremski stated before 6 p.m. or after 8 p.m. on weeknights are the more quieter times to visit.

Lights at Lafarge display was officially plugged in by crews from the city and Star Illuminations from Port Coquitlam, as well as dozens of volunteers.

For more details, you can visit Coquitlam’s Lights at Lafarge page.

- with files from Mario Bartel and Janis Cleugh, Tri-City News