Vernon’s holiday tradition of the annual Light Up may be no more after the Downtown Vernon Association announced it will no longer be making arrangements for the event.
The DVA said the rising costs of the event, dwindling attendance numbers and public criticism fuelled the decision to pull the plug on the Light Up which has kicked off the holiday season for the past 26 years.
Over the past five years, attendance, corporate sponsorship and volunteer numbers have dwindled, while costs continued to increase.
“These facts have been weighed along with the public criticism of the event and consistent feedback from some of our members that the road closure for this event has been a detriment to their retail sales or negatively affects access to their businesses,” the DVA said in its statement Friday.
“With the end to his happy chapter in our downtown’s history comes immeasurable thanks and gratitude for the many volunteers, performers, vendors and Vernonites that have come downtown to help open the start of the holiday season as a community,” the DVA said.
The DVA will continue to host events downtown and already has 24 events scheduled for 2020.
“The DVA appreciates that Light Up was a community tradition and holds many merry memories,” DVA executive director Susan Lehman said. “This has not been an easy decision for the DVA board and the DVA is committed to creating new holiday traditions in downtown that focus on the longevity of the season including promotions, events and decorations.”
Lehman said it’s the DVA’s hope to assist another group in co-ordinating a Light-Up type event for the community in the future.