Londoners invited to Lighting of the Lights for 1st time since 2019 – London

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A well-established tradition continues in Victoria Park on Friday with the Lighting of the Lights and, for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the public is invited to attend.

The City of London is putting out the invite for all to view the moment the switch is flipped on over 75,000 lights in Victoria Park. The event gets underway at 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26, with live entertainment. The countdown to turning on the lights goes at 6:50 p.m.

The lights can then be viewed nightly from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. until Jan. 1, 2022.

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“I hope you’ll join me and thousands of other Londoners for the annual lighting of the lights in Victoria Park. It’s not only a time-honoured holiday tradition this year, it’s proof of how far we’ve come,” Mayor Ed Holder said Thursday.

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“You’ll remember last year restrictions were such that we could not invite the public. It was all very low key and not at all like most of us were accustomed to. But one year later, despite a more contagious variant, we’re able to share in the celebration together and carefully. There are a number of reasons for this, not the least of which is vaccines.”

However, the city is asking that attendees maintain physical distance from anyone outside of their household and “wear a mask/face covering when physical distance cannot be maintained.”

Among the illuminated conifers are specially decorated and dedicated trees:

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  • the Angel tree, lit in white, to honour the lives of children who have passed
  • the tree to commemorate troops overseas, lit in yellow
  • the tree of Hope, lit in pink for those who’ve been diagnosed with or have survived breast cancer
  • the tree of Wishes, lit in blue for the Make-A-Wish foundation
  • the purple tree to Shine the Light on Woman Abuse
  • the Remember, Honour, Celebrate tree, lit in red in remembrance of lives lost to HIV/AIDS
  • the Donor tree, lit in blue and green to represent the Trillium Gift of Life Network
  • the Carpenter’s Union Tree, lit in yellow and blue

The city says the promenade deck at city hall, sometimes used to view the lights from above, will remain closed this year due to the pandemic.

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Also in Victoria Park, the Santa House will run this holiday season through appointments will be required to visit. More information can be found on TLC Foundation’s website.

The outdoor skating rink at Victoria Park is slated to open Dec. 4, weather-permitting, as will the rink at Storybook Gardens.

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The Rotary Rink at Covent Garden Market is expected to open Dec. 10, officials say.

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The city adds that public washrooms are currently available in Victoria Park from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends near the bandshell. Come Dec. 6, those hours will change to 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

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Gender-neutral washrooms are available daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Dundas Place at 179 Dundas St., on the south side of the street just east of Richmond Street.

For the rest of the year, the city says those travelling downtown or to the Old East Village by vehicle can enjoy two hours of free parking daily at municipal on-street parking meters and in municipal lots.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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