Red River Ex trying to salvage drive-thru light show after province cancels it
(Source: Red River Ex)
WINNIPEG -- The Red River Exhibition Association is looking for answers after the province cancelled Winter Wonderland, an annual Christmas light show.
Originally set to start on November 21, the light show can't take place since it isn't considered an essential business or service under pandemic restrictions.
Garth Rogerson, CEO of the Red River Exhibition Association, said the event doesn't have any contact points and is entirely safe.
"If you can drive down Portage Avenue or Assiniboine Park, you can drive through this park and see the lights," he said.
Rogerson will be appealing to the province to let the light show open.
"As we move forward, I'm hoping that we can get the show open," Rogerson said. "We are set up. We are ready to go. We can start if they give us a day’s notice."
If the province holds firm, Rogerson is hopeful the light show will be able to open once restrictions are loosened in the coming weeks.
"It took two months and a huge crew of guys to set up, so I'm hoping we get some use out of it," he said.
If the light show was able to open for even a week, Rogerson would be happy.
Earlier this year, COVID-19 also forced the cancellation of the Red River Ex fair.
"Enormous financial impacts, but we run events all year, 200 event days, so we have events going constantly in our building, and they've all been cancelled," said Rogerson. "We have had a devastating effect by this, so anything we can do to get somethings going, that would certainly be very helpful."
Rogerson also said that in times like these, people need something to lift their spirits.
"To be able to just get out of the house, there's really no place you can go, so this is something you could do as a family, you know get in the car and drive over to see the lights."