Stanley Park’s Bright Nights Christmas Train is back on track this coming holiday season, with some changes triggered by COVID-19.
Tickets will be sold starting Friday (Nov. 6) for the 23rd annual attraction, to run Nov. 26 to Jan. 1, nightly from 4 to 10 p.m. There will be no matinee train rides this year, and no rides will happen on Christmas Day.
“This train ride, with themed holiday lights, decorations, and music along the 15-minute route, will be the sole activity for this event,” says an advisory from Vancouver Park Board. “There will be no activation of any indoor spaces, including the plaza, in order to fulfill COVID-19 safety requirements.”
Tickets are online-only this year, via vancouver.ca, and won’t be sold at the train station.
“Ticket-holders should arrive no more than 30 minutes prior to their designated train ride and be prepared to enter the site as soon as the preceding train is en route,” says the event advisory. “Latecomers cannot be accommodated due to capacity limitations. As in previous years, parking will be free.”
Also, there will be Plexiglas dividers between each bench, and face masks will be mandatory for all guests and staff.
We're excited to share that #BrightNightsYVR is on its way back to Stanley Park! While things will be a little scaled back, we're working hard to make this holiday tradition happen in the safest way possible. See you November 26 to January 1! More info: https://t.co/PoEqXkBsFb pic.twitter.com/S32naAk0mP
— Stanley Park Railway (@stanleyparkrail) November 4, 2020
Bright Nights is a fundraising event for the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, which benefits burn survivors from across B.C. More than $1.5 million has been donated to the fund since the train first rolled in 1998.
In previous years, firefighters from across the province would come together to install up to three million lights at Bright Nights, says the event advisory.
“This year, in order to follow COVID-19 safety requirements, firefighters will only hang lights in the area between the gate entrance and Christmas Train. The public will have the opportunity to make a cash donation to the Burn Fund at the front gate. The Burn Fund has also launched a Bright Nights 50/50 raffle to raise important funds enabling burn survivor programs to operate year round.”
Meantime, in Surrey, it’s not yet clear whether the Christmas train will run at Bear Creek Park this holiday season. “Due to Covid-19 Christmas train 2020 will be determined by Nov 20th if we are opening,” says a post on bctrains.com.