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Richmond church set to flick the switch on giant light display

The community is invited to St. Joseph the Worker on Williams Road this Saturday at 5 p.m. for a Christmas celebration.

A church in Richmond is encouraging all homes to be lit up with Christmas lights – and they are kicking it off with their own seasonal light show at the third annual Reason for the Season event.

St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church on Williams Road is inviting the community to come on Saturday night (Dec. 10) at 5 p.m. to watch them flick the switch on their light display, something that’s been growing bigger over the three years they’ve been putting it on.

Using the hashtag #LightUpRichmond, the church started displaying lights during the first COVID-19 season, holding an online virtual Christmas event that year to bring people out of the pandemic doldrums.

The next year, they were able to have an in-person event, and this Saturday’s event will be the second in-person Reason for the Season event.

The church also started encouraging others in Richmond to light up their homes during the pandemic, creating an interactive map where anyone could post their light display location.

After the 5 p.m. flicking of the light switch, Reason for the Season will continue until 8:30 p.m. with “fun for all ages” including food, entertainment, crafts, games, Christmas movies and a live nativity scene, explained Derek Hume, AKA Buddy the Elf.

Since starting the event, the lights at St. Joseph the Worker have grown, with now hundreds of strings of light festooning the front of the church and its grounds.

The idea is to bring hope and joy to the season, explained Father Pierre Ducharme.

“It started during COVID – it was something everyone was wanting during those dark times – this want for hope,” he said.

In addition to this Saturday’s event, the church is hosting Light up the Boulevard on Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m. As Richmondites drive around looking at Christmas lights, they can drop by St. Joseph’s for hotdogs, chilli and drinks.

Reason for the Season starts with the light display kickoff at 5 p.m.  on Saturday, Dec. 10, and runs until 8:30 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church, 4451 Williams Rd., just west of Railway Avenue.

To see the interactive map, go to LightUpRichmond.ca.

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