Lights will fill the playground and water-park areas of Surrey’s Bear Creek Park for two weeks starting Saturday (Nov. 2), in an annual event that has expanded and relocated for 2019.
Bear Creek Park Lights, previously called Garden Light Festival, has moved out of the park’s garden area “due to the popularity of the event,” according to a post on the city’s website.
For 13 nights until Nov. 15, illuminated trees and light displays can be seen from 6 to 9 p.m., with special attractions planned on three dates.
Features include a giant Lite Brite, “light robots” made of LEDs and an illuminated tunnel.
Admission is free, but donations to Surrey Food Bank are encouraged.
Last year’s event attracted 35,000 people over seven nights, said Mandy Hadfield, park operations co-ordinator in Surrey.
“We had to change the location of the event so we could have a more open area, and the feedback we got from people is it was too crowded in (the garden) last year,” Hadfield said Tuesday.
“It’s still a loop like it was last year, and people can walk around to see all the displays,” she added. “It’s just moved, just a new atmosphere, with a similar number of lights – probably even a little more.”
So far, more than 8,700 Facebook users are “interested” in attending the 2019 event.
“It’s tough for us to gauge exactly how many people will show up, because we can only have the numbers on the Facebook event to go by,” Hadfield noted.
Bear Creek Park Lights is designed to bring light to the area at a time of year when daylight fades, with clocks set to “fall back” this weekend.
“This event started as just a unique way to see the park, and it was never meant to be a Christmas thing or a Halloween thing,” Hadfield said in 2018.
The festival grew from a single-night event in 2016 to a two-night gathering in 2017, to seven nights in 2018.
During the two-week run this year, two nights will feature an activity zone, food trucks and roving performers – on Saturday, Nov. 2 and Friday, Nov. 15, with a park-and-ride shuttle available from Surrey School District Education Centre (14033 92nd Ave.). The shuttle will also operate on Nov. 9 for a night for music, food and performers.
The shuttle will drop off at the park’s overflow parking lot at 140 Street and 86A Avenue. From there, participants will have to walk about five minutes past the garden and into the waterpark area, the city’s website notes. The shuttle will run every 15 minutes between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m.
Bear Creek Park Lights offers “quiet nights with just the lights” from Nov. 3-8 and Nov. 10-14. The attraction will be closed on Remembrance Day (Nov. 11).
Event organizers encourage people to carpool or shuttle to the site, or take transit.
Some “Tips for Your Visit” posted to the city’s website include dressing for the weather (“wear warm clothes and be prepared for rain”) and leaving pets at home. Also, “pathways are wide and paved. If you plan to walk or park in the overflow, bring a flashlight. The park will be dark outside the event area.”
For more event details, call 604-501-5050 or visit surrey.ca/culture-recreation/14033.aspx.