Smiths Falls – 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 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 (TSF), 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 COL 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, A Community Enhancement Association is a volunteer not-for-profit 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, Not for Profit and Charitable organizations. Movies Under the Stars in the summer and Celebration of Lights in the winter are two of their signature events.
To add your own display next year or to ask about how you can volunteer with the group, or for more information visit their website togethersmithsfalls.com.