Paul Biro of Summerland has organized a special drive-by holiday lights event to take place on the evening of Friday, Nov. 27. The map shows Biro’s route to view holiday lights around the community. (Contributed)

Extra COVID-19 safety protocols added to Summerland drive-by lights tour

Map is available by download; living nativity and Santa display eliminated

A drive-by holiday lights event in Summerland, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 27, has been changed as a result of COVID-19 safety protocols.

The changes affect the start of the tour, where organizer Paul Biro had initially planned to have a living nativity scene, Santa and Mrs. Claus and some elves at his home at 10116 Quinpool Road.

“Due to additional COVID restrictions, we have had to remove the live displays of Santa and nativity from the start location,” Biro said, adding that the elves would no longer be handing out maps and candy canes.

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Instead, an online map has been created by his friend Bill Baker.

“It is important that we all stay in cars and keep each other safe, having driven the route it is worth the drive,” he said.

Biro organized the Summerland Drive-By Light Up as a way to bring the holiday spirit to Summerland after the annual Summerland Festival of Lights, normally held on the last Friday of November, was cancelled.

“Light-up is a wonderful event for us. So many people were so disappointed when it was cancelled,” he said. “It’s been a very hard year for Summerland.”

The map shows Biro’s favourite route to see holiday lights on display around Summerland.

“A big part for me to do this was to create attention to local businesses,” he said.

“We don’t want this virus to gut local business across our country. We are all in it together and we need to support each other here and across our country.”

Biro said the response to the event has been good, and around 2,500 people have been on the site to learn more about the event.

He said several Summerland businesses, including the Beanery, Granny’s and Maple Roch will all be open until 9 p.m. that night, selling special drinks and treats.

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