A bright and colourful festival took place in Sandspit at the end of 2020, creatively adapted to function within provincial health restrictions due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The Sandspit Winter Lights Festival, organized by the Sandspit Community Society with the help of a number of volunteers, was developed to be a low- to no-contact event with the idea that there would likely have to be some concessions made along the way.
The festival was kept “open” at all times with lights on timers from dusk to midnight. Everything was outdoors and well-spaced so folks could walk through and enjoy it on their own time, or from the comfort of their vehicles.
Along with approximately 50 strands of lights (including several very long, commercial strands) there was a beautiful, full-sized wooden sleigh built by volunteer Peter Grundmann which was capable of holding Santa plus visitors at 6 feet apart (a bench at each end).
There were also 15 trees adopted and decorated by community groups and individuals with creative themes. The Coast Guard went with a (surprise!) nautical design with rope knots and floats, and the Sandspit Running Club hung glitter spray painted running shoes.
There were a handful of associated events that unfortunately had to be cancelled, but others were creatively adapted including the Polar Bear Swim which went virtual. Folks were still encouraged to go swimming on New Year’s Day, but only with people within their own households, and then to post photos and videos online.
The Sandspit Community Society is already looking forward to running the festival again next year, hopefully as an anchor location that would include all the fun winter events dreamed up for 2020, including an outdoor market, polar bear swim, and live music.
Haw’aa / haawa / thank you to all the volunteers and tree decorators involved this year for making this event so special!