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Wildlights set to celebrate its 25th anniversary

The 25th edition of Wildlights will again shine on the BC Wildlife Park in east Kamloops

The popular event that features nearly one-million lights and assorted entertainment will run from Dec. 9 through Jan. 2, with Christmas Day being the only day the park will be closed.

“This will be a great Wildlights, back to where we were before COVID-19,” BC Wildlife Park executive director and general manager Glenn Grant said, noting between 22,000 and 25,000 people are expected to visit the park.

Wildlights will run each day from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., again with title sponsor MJB Lawyers helping the cause.

New this year will be Santa’s Village at the North Pole, a feature on the park’s Great Lawn that will include meeting the Jolly Old elf, fantastic photo opportunities and a chance to warm up next to a couple of propane fire pits. There will also be eight more fire pits farther back in the park, near the log cabin.

Old favourites of Wildlights will also be featured, including the Canadian Tire Kamloops Holiday Gazebo, endless light displays, the 250-foot Tunnel of Lights, Uncle Chris the Clown and a 20-foot-tall outdoor light tree.

Grant said one of those old favourites will include something new as the Tunnel of Lights will be constructed with a greenhouse frame, rather than with PVC piping as in the past.

In addition, the popular Wildlife Express miniature train will be operating nightly from 5 p.m., with the last run at about 8:30 p.m. Train tickets are $1 each (cash only) and can be purchased at the train station.

For Wildlights ticket information, go online to bcwildlife.org. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the door. The park is at 9077 Dallas Dr.

Money raised via Wildlights is used to support the BC Wildlife Park through the winter, with funds generated covering the costs of food and care for the nearly 200 permanent resident animals, the Fawcett Family Wildlife Health Centre patients and the burrowing owls in the famous breeding program.