Drive-thru Christmas light festivals will be going dark in Ontario weeks earlier than organizers planned under Doug Ford’s stricter COVID-19 measures that go into effect on Saturday.
But several creators say they hope last-minute efforts to lobby the government before the holidays will convince leaders to make drive-thru shows an exception to the lockdown.
Maria Gomez, whose Polar Drive near Toronto’s Pearson International Airport was scheduled to run until January, says she was surprised when she learned she would have to shut down.
She says it doesn’t make sense that her contactless event isn’t allowed to continue while drive-thru fast-food restaurants can still hand items through the pick-up window.
Andrew Gidaro, who co-produces Holiday Nights of Lights in Vaughan, Ont., says he’s not opposed to the lockdown, but feels the province “missed the mark” when it lumped contactless in-vehicle events into the latest measures.
Ontario residents are being told to stay home as much as possible and only go out for essential services as the province grapples with rising COVID-19 infection rates, including a new record high of 2,447 cases reported Thursday. A new province-wide month-long lockdown begins Dec. 26.
Some drive-in events have already thrown in the towel, including Canadian Tire’s Christmas Trail, which closed up on Dec. 23 and cancelled all future reservations.