UPDATED: Christmas in Williams Park returns!

It’s a leap of faith, but Barb Sharp announced Tuesday that next week the Christmas lights will be switched on in Williams Park.

“We’re going to run with it,” said Sharp, president of the Christmas in Williams Park society.

The lights will be turned on Thursday, Dec. 11, Sharp said. The event will run until Dec. 21, allowing visitors a couple of weekends to drive through the park and check out the displays, whhich will be open from 5-9 p.m. each night.

The long-running volunteer-driven light display was cancelled last month after thieves stole about $10,000 worth of lights and extension cords from a storage unit.

It was the second year in a row that thieves have stolen lights, and police told organizers they would not likely be found. It is suspected that thousands of dollars worth of lights were being stripped for copper wire and sold for a few hundred dollars as scrap.

Yet once news of the cancellation got out, people in the community began organizing and trying to help, in any way they can.

"I guess this is what Christmas miracles are all about," Sharp said.

On Tuesday, Sharp announced that Langley’s Canadian Tire was donating $1,000 of lights and extension cords.

"That’s pretty nice of them," Sharp said.

Donations didn’t just come from big companies.

Nine-year-old Sara Walmsley of Walnut Grove began a drive at her school to collect LED lights. 

Local businesses like Kore Irrigation and Lighting and the Langley Advance are acting as drop-off points for lights as well. Residents began contacting the Christmas in Williams Park Society offering money, volunteer help, storage space, and other aid.

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Save Christmas in Williams Park

 

Williams Park’s light show is back on, but organizers could still use support to buy more lights! "The more lights, the prettier the park," said organizer Barb Sharp.

Sharp also started a FundAid campaign online, and in under a week Langley residents donated more than $1,700 to help buy more equipment.

It’s very encouraging, and the help of the community has been enough to convince her that Christmas in Williams Park can work, Sharp said.

But a lot more support is still needed.

First, the society will need volunteers to come out and help this Sunday.

On Dec. 7 at 10 a.m., volunteers are asked to gather at Williams Park to help string lights, set up inflatables, and do the other chores that make the event come alive.

It might be a bit damp, but that wouldn’t be unusual for Christmas in Williams Park crews.

“We’ve put ’em up in the rain before,” Sharp said.

Second, there could always be more lights.

“The more lights, the prettier the park,” aid Sharp.

Organizers can only accept LED lights, as the old-style incandescent bulbs would blow the park’s breakers.

At this point, cash donations are as helpful or more helpful as physical lights, as organizers have arranged to buy new lights at a good discount.

Anyone interested in volunteering or in offering lights or private donations can email christmasinwilliamspark@shaw.ca.

To drop off lights, Kore Irrigation and Lighting is located at 19140 28 Ave., and are open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The Langley Advance offices are located at 6375 202 St. and are open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

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