The Sarnia-Lambton Celebration of Lights is looking for a small army of volunteers to help take down, pack up and move its more than 50 displays from Sarnia’s Centennial Park into storage for another season.
The bulk of the volunteers are needed for the annual Community Teardown Day on Feb. 12. That’s when the volunteer-run organization is hoping 100 or more volunteers will come to the waterfront park at 9 a.m. to help pack up the displays.
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Dean Holtz, a member of the group’s board, said its also looking for volunteers who can provide trucks and trailers to move the displays to storage space located not far from the park at Sandrin Services.
“I’m asking for 100 volunteers,” Holtz said.
Unlike the several days used to set up the Celebration of Lights, the teardown happens on a single day.
“We do everything on the same day on teardown,” Holtz said. “We have to disassemble the displays, put them on the trucks and take them over to our storage.”
Work will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until finished, which could be 1 p.m. or so if enough volunteers answer the call, Holtz said.
Refreshments will be available that day in the park.
The displays have been lighting up the waterfront park evenings since late November.
“We want to say ‘thank you’ to the community for its support,” Holtz said.
This season’s teardown actually begins Friday with “Crane Day,” when a crane from Sterling Crane will help take down the candle arch over Front Street and a large Seasons Greetings display in the park.
About 10 strong volunteers are needed that day, beginning at 9 a.m., to help steady displays as they are lowered to the ground, Holtz said.
Volunteers for Crane Day are being asked to contact the celebration through its Facebook page.
“It went very well,” Holtz said about this season of the Celebration of Lights. “Everyone seemed to love it” and appreciated the lights remaining on through January, he said.
He said the board missed not being able to hold the official opening night that was part of the Celebration of Lights tradition before the pandemic. It typically includes live music, wagon rides, fireworks and the official lighting of the displays.
“We are hopeful we can do it next year,” Holtz said.
This season’s fundraising for the celebration will pay for next season’s opening night, as well as other costs.
“We are behind on donations,” Holtz said. “We don’t have enough for next year yet.”
The organization needs to raise “at least $30,000” to be able to hold the opening night events and stage the celebration, Holtz said.
“Really, more towards $40,000 would be better” to allow the event to grow and add new displays, he said.
“If people are able to give more, and they’ve had a good year,” they are being asked to reach out through the celebration’s Facebook site or by contacting Holtz by email at email@example.com.