Photo posted to lumagica.ca.

Photo posted to lumagica.ca.

‘Festive light extravaganza’ coming to Surrey in December, with COVID vax pass mandatory

Lumagica planned at Cloverdale Fairgrounds, and Glow is a go in Langley as a drive-through event

An “outdoor/indoor global Holiday experience” will make its Canadian debut in Surrey this December.

Lumagica Surrey, a one-kilometre light walk billed as “this year’s most enchanting festive light extravaganza,” is coming to Cloverdale Fairgrounds from Dec. 3 to 30, daily from 4 to 10 p.m.

Visitors are invited to “escape on a fantastical journey through diverse lands to capture and believe in the spirit of the Holidays,” with more than 120 “features and ornaments” on view.

Photos and event details are posted to lumagica.ca.

Attractions include “Santa at his cabin in the North Pole… the perfect backdrop for that festive family photo. Guests can make their way through the light walk with hot cocoa, mulled wine, and snacks from various vendors in the park,” and enjoy live entertainment and marketplace.

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An adult ticket is $25, or $74 for a weekend family pass for two adults and two kids. A “required” parking pass is priced at $5.

The event is planned in association with MK Illumination, which has worked on Surrey’s Bear Creek Park Lights and other “True Light Experiences” in the region. The company’s Canada West branch is directed by Alex Urquhart, with sales and marketing managed by Anne-Marie Davidson.

• RELATED STORY: Surrey’s free Bear Creek Park Lights event returns with limited, pre-booked tickets.

Davidson said the event will be held on the pathway surrounding Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre, at 64th Avenue and 176th Street, not on the grassy area.

Back in 2018, that grassy area was the site of the ill-fated Art of Lights lantern festival, which opened two months late, in mid-December, due to permit issues and poor weather.

At the time, festival project manager Samuel Lee said booking the festival for Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre Park was a “miscalculation.” The park is at the “bottom of Cloverdale,” he said, and that, combined with winter rain, made the ground unstable, adding to complications for the event organizers, Canada Chuansheng Media Ltd.

• READ MORE, from 2018: Cloverdale lantern festival opens two months late.

On Wednesday (Oct. 13), Davidson said Lumagica will also use the Agriplex building as a “North Pole,” for food and entertainment. A cabin structure will be employed for photos with Santa, by donation to Cloverdale Community Kitchen.

For the walk-through event, “we have put into place careful planning with The City of Surrey and BC guidelines on COVID to ensure that the event will take place,” Davidson noted in an email.

She said health-related protocols for Lumagica will include ticket time slots to limit crowd capacity and reduce queues, vaccine code check at the entrance as per B.C. health guidelines, a one-way trail route, extra staff to guide flow through the park, additional cleaning across the route every night, hand sanitizer stations, physical distance signage in place and mandatory masks indoors.

In Langley, Glow Gardens Christmas lights display is returning as a drive-through event at Milner’s Darvonda Nurseries greenhouse, from Nov. 18 to Jan. 1 at 6690 216th St.

Darvonda owner Lawrence Jansen said the switch to a drive-through is intended to ensure the Langley event can still take place, even if pandemic restrictions have to be tightened again.

“It’s very concerning,” Jansen said. “We don’t want to be a part of making it worse.”

With limits on public events that keep being adjusted in response to the changing nature of the pandemic, organizers opted for a relatively sure thing – keeping people safe in their own bubbles by remaining in their cars.

“We feel we are well positioned to operate, no matter what,” Jansen added.

The Langley event offers a 20-minute drive-through, contactless journey featuring nearly a million lights, a glacial foyer where it’s always snowing, a 100-foot animated light tunnel, and a three-storey Christmas tree, princesses and Santa.

Tickets must be purchased in advance, online at glowgardens.com/langley-christmas, and e-tickets will be scanned through the vehicle window upon arrival. There is a maximum of eight occupants per vehicle, and admission is $34.99 per car weekdays, $39.99 weekends and holidays, plus applicable taxes and service charges.

Glow started at Darvonda in 2017 in Langley, “because we weren’t busy enough in the winter,” Jansen explained.

The event has since expanded to shows in Edmonton, Saskatoon and Halifax in Canada, under partnership agreements where Glow provides expertise and lighting to the show operators, an arrangement Jansen describes as “pseudo-franchise.”

with file from Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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