Maple Ridge celebrates the night

Fireworks and fun in Memorial Peace Park in first year without Ghost Ridge Haunted House

Ghouls, ghosts and goblins packed Memorial Peace Park Sunday evening for the inaugural Celebrate the Night festival in Maple Ridge.

Thousands turned out to paint pumpkins, show off their costumes and watch fireworks set off from on top of the ACT Arts Centre.

“We were very pleased with the turnout. I think the community really embraced it. The kids were dressed to the nines in costumes. It was incredible,” said Yvonne Chui, arts and community connections manager with the Maple Ridge Parks, Recreation and Culture Department.

Orange lanterns resembling pumpkins were hung from the ceiling of the bandstand.

Norman Foote performed on a stage in front of the ACT with choirs from Webster’s Corners and Davie Jones elementary schools.

“The pumpkins and jar lanterns, they were all gone within the first hour. We were just flooded,” said Chui, who was amazed with how packed the park became.

“By the end of the night, when the fireworks started, it was elbow to elbow and you couldn’t get through,” she said.

People could even able to view the fireworks from their homes.

“That means, in the future, you can be celebrating at home and still enjoy it,” Chui added.

She would like to see the event grow to make Maple Ridge one of the best places to come at this time of year.

Next year, the city will look into using inside spaces of surrounding facilities and better lighting for the festival.

Chui would also like to include the celebration of Diwali.

“So it’s a combination of everything rather than strictly just Halloween,” to celebrate Maple Ridge’s diversity.

• To volunteer for next year’s event, call 604-467-7415 or email festival@mapleridge.ca.