Residents of Smiths Falls will be missing its holiday light displays in Victoria Park this year.
Parks Canada is conducting repairs and upgrades to the canal, locks and basin, rendering the area too dangerous to hold the annual month-long event.
“We’re sad to have to take a hiatus this year, but we can’t bring the public into a construction zone,”
said Tracey Pankow, president of Together Smiths Falls, the volunteer organization behind the
annual celebration of lights.
The group only learned a few weeks ago that Victoria Park would not be available to them due to the
upgrades on both sides of the canal. Since then, the committee has looked at several other locations in
town including Centennial Park, Lower Reach Park, Town Hall, the arena area, the area around the
curling club, etc. None of them have the electrical requirements or space that the event needs.
“We had begun our planning and were about to send the call-out for displays to the community,” added
Susan Richards, who has chaired the Celebration of Lights committee since it began in 2012, “but in the end, we had to make the tough decision to take a hiatus this year. Many of the community groups and businesses have already started working on their displays but they are understanding of the circumstances and look forward to participating next year.”
“We know that there will be many disappointed families in our community who have made viewing the
lights an annual holiday tradition but we want to assure them that we will be back next year to celebrate
our fifth year with an even bigger event in 2018,” says Tracey Pankow.
Together Smiths Falls is a community enhancement association run by volunteers and is a not-for-profit group. It formed in 2010. Together they create a better community through events and projects that will enhance the quality of life in Smiths Falls, encourage community involvement and volunteerism in collaboration with local business and charitable organizations.
Movies Under the Stars in the summer and Celebration of Lights in the winter are two of their signature events.