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Panorama will light up Simcoe for the holidays

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Simcoe’s Christmas Panorama of Lights will make its colourful return to Wellington Park for the holiday season.

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“We did have an entire year off and we were able to spend that time working on some of the displays,” said Lucas Wilson, a member of the Panorama board of directors. “There are new and refurbished displays in the park this year. So even if you visited Panorama before, come check it out this year because you might see something new.”

Lights will be on every night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. starting on Dec. 4 and running to Jan. 2, 2022.

Due to the pandemic, organizers were unable to launch any fund-raising events to purchase new lights for the park. As a result, there will be fewer lighting displays.

“We typically spend $10,000 on the lights every single year and the past two years we haven’t been able to do that,” said Wilson. He encourages people to visit the Panorama website to learn how to make a donation to the event.

Wilson hopes holding a more traditional festival this year will lead to more sponsorship and donations. This will allow organizers to move forward on bringing the tradition back to its full glory in 2022.

There won’t be an opening ceremony and COVID safety protocols will be in place. Attendees are free to walk throughout the park but are encouraged to remain six feet away from anyone outside their household and to wear a mask in crowded areas. The horse-drawn trolley rides are also cancelled this year.

Panorama organizers hope to recruit volunteers to assist in the set-up and to switch the lights on and off every evening.

“The good news is that we can get the community to come together and light up the park, whether it be displaying the lights, putting paint on some fencing, we have job from something very simple to something more complicated,” said Wilson.

For more information about the festival and to volunteer, visit simcoepanorama.ca.

People can donate to the festival via e-transfer to lights@simcoepanorama.ca or through a GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/f/supportpanorama.

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