This nativity scene at the home of Paul Biro, organizer of the Summerland Drive-By Light Up, was just one of many parts of his elaborate display. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

This nativity scene at the home of Paul Biro, organizer of the Summerland Drive-By Light Up, was just one of many parts of his elaborate display. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

YEAR IN REVIEW: Summerland celebrated lights despite festival cancellation

While the Festival of Lights was cancelled, two drive-by holiday lights events were organized

While Summerland’s iconic Festival of Lights was cancelled in 2020, the community still managed to put its holiday lights on display for the festive season.

The annual festival, normally held on the last Friday of November, was cancelled because of restrictions on public gatherings. Outdoor gatherings were limited to no more than 50 people, but in past years, the Festival of Lights had attracted between 12,000 and 14,000 people to downtown Summerland.

The festival had been held annually since 1987.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Summerland holiday lights on display

READ ALSO: Trout Creek holds holiday lights quest

After learning the festival was cancelled, Paul Biro organized a drive-by light-up event, to be held on the same evening as the Festival of Lights.

“Light-up is a wonderful event for us. So many people were so disappointed when it was cancelled. It’s been a very hard year for Summerland,” he said.

“We don’t want this virus to gut local business across our country. We are all in it together and we need to support each other here and across our country.”

Biro assembled a map, directing motorists to colourful lights displays at homes around the community.

He had planned to have a living nativity scene, Santa and Mrs. Claus and some elves at his home as well, but because of the COVID-19 restrictions, these elements were cancelled.

In addition, a lights display was held in Trout Creek in mid-December.

The Great Trout Creek Christmas Light Quest began on Dec. 18. Participants could visit a Facebook page to find riddles they could solve, in order to find the decorated homes in the neighbourhood.

“Since we are supposed to be staying safe and away from others, I thought this would be some thing fun and cheerful for people to do with their family,” said Heather Pescada, organizer of the event.

“Trout Creek has so many beautiful light displays and some are hidden gems at dead end streets that most people miss. This way people can have fun figuring out the riddles and all great homes will be seen.”

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Candy canes were used to mark a path to a home on Nixon Road in Trout Creek. Numerous homes in the Summerland neighbourhood have holiday lights displays set up. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Candy canes were used to mark a path to a home on Nixon Road in Trout Creek. Numerous homes in the Summerland neighbourhood have holiday lights displays set up. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

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