The White Rock Festival of Lights takes place along the White Rock waterfront. It features Christmas trees and thousands of festive winter holiday lights.
During the winter of 2020/21 it ran from December 19th, 2020, until January 23rd, 2021. In 2021/22 the festival planned to run from November all the way to February. 2022/23 details are TBC.
White Rock Beach at Christmas
2019 marked the first year of the White Rock Festival of Lights. Over 40 thousand people visited and supported the new event. Folk were treated to an impressive display of festive Christmas lights set against a natural backdrop of the beautiful coastline.
The event was originally created by members of the local White Rock community, but with the help and support of various partners and organizations.
The 2019 event was a great success. The 2020 event promised to be even bigger and better than before (or at least that was the case until COVID-19 came along).
Plans for the Event
The second annual White Rock Festival of Lights was going to run from Monday, December 7th, 2020, until Saturday, January 9th, 2021. The end date got extended to January 23rd (so two weeks later than initially planned).
The festival was going to include live entertainment in addition to the light displays. The provincial government, however, banned all live in-person events for the entire Christmas season in 2020. They did this because of concern about the spread of the coronavirus. The only events allowed to proceed were drive-thru events where participants could see everything without getting out of their cars.
Fortunately, the White Rock event could still go ahead, although in a slightly modified format. They had to cancel all live events, including family-friendly activities and performances. The focus had to be on just the lights for people to admire at their leisure. The organizers also couldn’t call the festival an “event” or promote it as one, especially to people outside the region. Instead, the community still got to have its Christmas lights to admire, but just not in a formal event-style-format.
During the extended winter holiday season, Christmas lights and decorations can be seen around the White Rock Beach waterfront along Marine Drive and at the pier.
Exact dates and details for the 2022/23 festival are to be confirmed as of the spring of 2022. The hope is that this season’s event can be similar to how it was envisioned pre-pandemic. We’ll have to wait and see, however.
What to Expect
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 White Rock Festival of Lights Society cancelled some aspects of the event’s attractions. The Christmas lights themselves, however, were just as pretty as they were the year before.
The main display of thousands of lights is usually right along the White Rock waterfront. There is a large Christmas tree almost 40 feet tall in Memorial Park. There is also a section of lights called The Magical Meadow which is full of lanterns painted by students from the area.
People can purchase living Christmas trees and railway fence panels with lights in advance to help support the organization that puts on the festival. Not only do these contributions help fund the event, but they also make for some pretty scenes.
For additional information about the attraction, visit the official White Rock Festival of Lights website.
Other communities with especially pretty displays of Christmas lights that are free to enjoy most (but not all) years include the following (as well as many other places):
- Vancouver at Granville Island, Stanley Park and Canada Place
- Maple Ridge at the Memorial Peace Park
- West Vancouver at Dundarave Beach
- North Vancouver at the Shipyards and Gardens at Park & Tilford
- Burnaby at the Burnaby Village Museum
- Coquitlam at Lafarge Lake
- Harrison Hot Springs at the Waterfront
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