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Christmas in Williams Park will go on, despite theft and damage

The theft of a number of decorations and destruction of others will not prevent Christmas in Williams Park from going ahead as planned on Dec. 13 and 14. In addition to other attractions and activities, visitors are invited to enjoy a horse and carriage ride through the park. - submitted photo
The theft of a number of decorations and destruction of others will not prevent Christmas in Williams Park from going ahead as planned on Dec. 13 and 14. In addition to other attractions and activities, visitors are invited to enjoy a horse and carriage ride through the park.
— image credit: submitted photo

For the first time in 23 years, the Christmas in Williams Park Society has had to hire security to watch over the festive light display, after Grinches tried to ruin this year’s show.

The day after Williams Park opened for visitors to drive through and see the magical display of lights and inflatables  on Dec. 3, thieves snuck into the park after the gate was closed and stole several inflatables.

They also cut wires and smashed some lights.

“It’s very demoralizing,” said Jim Marvel, Township parks and facilities manager who also is with the Williams Park Society.

“We were able to replace the inflatables but it cost the society extra money.”

This is the second time, thieves have tried to ruin Christmas this year.

In February, thieves broke into a storage locker and stole massive number of lights and extension cords.

“It’s tough to recover from this,” said Marvel. The society made the expensive decision to hire security guards for all the nights the park is open for Christmas.

Christmas in Williams Park will go on.

“This is a key Christmas event in Langley for many people and it’s free,” said Marvel.

However, they do have donation bins at the park where people can donate if they feel they can.

This year, the society could use the extra help.

“It has put a strain on us for sure,” he said.

This Friday and Saturday is the Christmas in Williams Park walking festival where people are welcome to walk through the park from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, have pony and horse and carriage rides and enjoy live entertainment as well as hot chocolate and hotdogs.

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