Candle Lake Provincial Park’s Festival of Lights is even bigger this year.
People put more effort because of the COVID-19 pandemic, say local organizers.
“People just love coming out and seeing lights. It’s been fantastic,” said Walter Leverton, whose business, Wally’s Electric, is participating.
Thirty-four camp sites in Sandy Bay Campground in the park are lit and decorated with holiday themes. The event is in its third year and the number of participants and spectators has grown steadily from year to year, says Leverton.
“People are building things months ahead. It’s just a fantastic event. It’s not just businesses putting in sites and locations, we have community areas that are doing it. We have families that are coming and decorating sites.”
Pike Lake Provincial Park is also hosting a Festival of Lights, says Saskatchewan Parks assistant deputy minister Jennifer Johnson.
Johnson says with a lot of people using the parks this summer due to the pandemic, they knew the public would be looking for physically distant things to do outdoors during the winter time as well.
“This year we didn’t plan events, we planned ongoing self-guided activities,” says Johnson. “They are a really COVID-safe activity because you just go with your own household, in your own vehicle and you can drive through the light displays.”
The remainder of the Candle Lake Festival of Lights runs from Dec. 28 to 31.
SaskParks “Embrace Winter” campaign includes skating in Echo Valley Provincial Park, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Christmas tree cutting and accommodation packages in Cypress Hills, Moose Mountain and Duck Lake Provincial Parks.
Some parks also offer groomed cross-country ski trails in conjunction with the surrounding community ski clubs.
Johnson says even though the trails aren’t groomed in some campgrounds and washrooms are closed, the public is still welcome to snowshoe, hike or walk in the outdoors.
The public can plan ahead by visiting SaskParks website or Facebook Page to find out more.