Mayor Doug McCallum flips the switch during Surrey Tree Lighting Festival’s virtual event on Saturday, Nov. 21. (YouTube)

Mayor Doug McCallum flips the switch during Surrey Tree Lighting Festival’s virtual event on Saturday, Nov. 21. (YouTube)

WATCH: Surrey Tree Lighting Festival goes virtual during pandemic, in two-hour video

Light tunnel also located at Surrey city hall plaza until Jan. 3

Surrey Tree Lighting Festival went virtual on Saturday (Nov. 21) in an effort to bring some light to the city during the darkness of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two-hour event was shown live on social media, and the video is now posted to the City of Surrey’s YouTube channel.

The festival typically attracts thousands of people to the plaza at Surrey City Hall, where the 60-foot tree stands once again, but the pandemic has put an end to such public gatherings, for now.

As part of the city’s Light Where You Live campaign, a light tunnel is also located on Surrey Civic Plaza until Jan. 3, “for residents to enjoy throughout the holiday season.”

Saturday’s 10th annual event featured a mix of music, comedy, crafts, holiday baking, contests and more, with Mayor Doug McCalllum flipping the switch at around the 1:53 mark of the video. Santa and Mrs. Claus hosted the broadcast, which earned “thousands of views,” according to event planners.

Performers included Andrew Allen, The Spindle Whorl Dancers, Ashley Pater, Zaac Pick, North Surrey Dance, Universal Gospel Choir, Norma McKnight, Royal Academy of Bhangra, Rockin’ Robin Show, Curtis Clear Sky and the Contellationz, Illest Illusionz, DACEY, Solontra, Karen Flamenco, members of the Surrey City Orchestra, Desmond Day, Omar Khan, Warren Dean Flandez and Top Line Vocal Collective.

The festival is presented by Surrey-based Coast Capital Savings.

Watch the virtual festival in video posted below.

Meantime, the city’s #LightWhereYouLive campaign encourages residents “to brighten Surrey this winter by installing seasonal lights at home and sharing on social media, as part of a contest on social media platforms.

“Between November 21 and December 20 Surrey residents are invited to share photos of their decorations using the hashtag #LightWhereYouLive,” says a post on surrey.ca. “A draw will be done each week for a prize from one of the participating Surrey Store to Door businesses.”

Light Displays in Surrey Parks

Due to COVID-19 the Bear Creek Lights event will not be taking place this year. Instead, smaller seasonal light displays have been lit throughout Surrey at the following parks:

• Newton Athletic Park

• Bear Creek Park Entrance

• South Surrey Athletic Park (the Forever Garden next to the South Surrey Arena, also 20 Avenue West of 148)

Also check out these other local light highlights:

• Beecher Place Wrapped Tree – 12160 Beecher Street

• Civic Plaza Tree

• Hawthorne Square and Downtown Cloverdale – 176 and 57A Avenue

Christmas

Just Posted

Mike Farnworth, pre-pandemic. (File photo)
Surrey Police recruitment not distracting cops from shootings, Farnworth says

‘That’s simply not the case,’ Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth told the Now-Leader on Friday

Little House Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Society COO Debbi McKenzie stands in front of the society’s namesake facility with Phoenix Drug Alcohol Recovery and Education Society CEO Keir Macdonald. (Submitted photo)
Delta’s Little House Society merging with Surrey-based Phoenix Society

Merger ‘came together in a really organic way’ as societies have been working together for two years

Surrey teacher Derek Duke gets vaccinated for COVID-19 at the North Surrey clinic on Wednesday, March 24. (submitted photo: Fraser Health)
COVID-19 cases among staff drop 60% after vaccinations: Surrey school district

School-based staff first eligible for vaccine March 24

Darlene Bennett, right, speaking about her murdered husband Paul at a press conference in 2018. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Widow of Surrey murder victim seeking referendum vote on policing transition

Darlene Bennett files application with Elections BC seeking binding referendum vote

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Police are at Ecole Mount Prevost Elementary but the students have been evacuated. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Gardner finds buried explosives, sparking evacuation of Cowichan school

Students removed from school in an ‘abundance of caution’

RCMP officers stand near a body covered with a tarp in the parking lot of a shopping complex after one person was killed and two others were injured during a shooting in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Man, 23, killed in latest Lower Mainland shooting had gang ties: IHIT

Jaskeert Kalkat was one of the three people hit by gunfire at Market Crossing mall at around 8:30 p.m.

A COVID-19 patient receives oxygen outside a hospital in Jammu, India, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (AP/Channi Anand)
B.C. donates $500K to Red Cross COVID-19 relief efforts in India

The money will provide oxygen cylinders and ambulances for patients in communities grappling with the virus

Police are asking the public for help identifying a suspect who allegedly hurled anti-Asian slurs at a family in a Richmond drive-through on May 1. (Benjamin Wong/Screen grab)
Suspect at large in racist tirade at Richmond drive-thru, says RCMP

The Caucasian man was recorded May 1 yelling anti-Asian slurs at a Richmond family in the lineup

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Italian-Canadian prisoners at the Kananaskis prisoner of war camp in Alberta. (University of Calgary/Contributed)
Italian moved to Okanagan with hope; he ended up being sent to a WWII internment camp

Raymond Lenzi shares his grandfather’s story ahead of Canada’s planned formal apology to Italian-Canadians

Most Read