Thousands of little lights are going up around Lafarge Lake in anticipation of next weekend’s opening of Lights at Lafarge, an annual display at Town Centre Park in Coquitlam.
This month, city staff from the parks and recreation department as well public works joined employees from Star Illuminations in Port Coquitlam and nearly 1,000 Park Spark volunteers to string up the bulbs, and fabricate and install the holiday pieces for the winter event.
Wendy Wiederick, Coquitlam’s parks operations manager, told the Tri-City News that there’ll be plenty of new elements such as a multi-coloured light tunnel at the north end of the lake loop to replace the caterpillar, deemed too narrow to meet physical distancing orders.
To keep the foot traffic flowing during the peak evening hours, park hosts will also be positioned at pinch-points — at the north and south ends — to help guide visitors along.
And some nights, the Park Spark team will host in-person craftmaking sessions for participants to add their shine to the light display, which runs until the end of January.
Those workshops will be held in the hoop house next to the Inspiration Garden or in tents (a schedule of events will be posted on the city’s website or social media channels).
The handcrafted elements can be seen along the two lighted trails: the first running from the Inspiration Garden to the new concession hub that’s west of the tennis courts; the second running from the orca on Pinetree Way and behind the Evergreen Cultural Centre.
The light display “is spread out enough so that we can handle the capacity, and people can get outside and have a positive experience with their Coquitlam spirit during the dark nights.”
Visitors may also see some familiar community features, too, as the city has repurposed the wooden platform swings from this summer’s pop-up park in Burquitlam, as well as the brightly coloured furniture from Austin Heights pop-up park, to be part of Lights at Lafarge.
And, yes, Rocky Point Ice Cream will be at the concession stand for guests to get treats and hot drinks, while the bathrooms at the hub and behind Evergreen will stay open late.
As for parking, commuters are reminded not to use the Evergreen Cultural Centre lot; rather, find a stall in a Town Centre Park lot or park along Pinetree Way (not at Douglas College).
Meanwhile, parks crews working the day, evening and overnight shifts will maintain the pathways during the show run, by removing leaves and debris plus salting during cold snaps.
• For more information about Lights at Lafarge, visit coquitlam.ca/lights. To volunteer with Park Spark, email firstname.lastname@example.org.