By Lethbridge Herald on December 11, 2020.
A bright light has emerged in this dark time of COVID-19 restrictions as the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden has been given permission to continue with its Winter Light Festival.
The garden has announced its has, once again, been given approval by Alberta Health Services and the City of Lethbridge to continue with the festival as planned.
Nikka Yuko has, however, cancelled the planned Shakespeare in the Garden events and all horse and wagon rides at this time to prevent gatherings.
“We are in an unprecedented time and our team has had to adapt and change our plans very quickly,” says Michelle Day, executive director for Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, in a news release. “We appreciate all the messages we’ve received from our community in support of our festival and have been working hard to ensure we can still provide this slice of normalcy and joy after a difficult year.
“The safety of our guests and staff is our number-one priority and we ask that everyone remains patient with us as we implement these new measures. Please respect our staff and these new regulations so that our Winter Light Festival can remain open through to the end of January as originally planned.”
The previous measures are still in place along with several new measures including:
¥ Masks or face coverings are now mandatory for all guests visiting the Winter Light Festival. Previously guests were only required to wear masks while inside the Visitors Centre/gift shop, but this now extends to all outdoor spaces inside the garden walls. Disposable masks are available at no charge for all guests, or they may choose to wear their own.
¥ Guests may only attend in their household cohort groups. Guests who arrive in groups larger than their household will be required to stagger their entry and must keep a distance of two metres from all guests outside of their household cohort.
¥ Capacity inside the Visitors Centre/gift shop is restricted to two cohort groups only. Guests are asked to use hand sanitizer upon entering and allow staff to assist with looking at and purchasing gift shop items as to limit touch points.
Nikka Yuko is working closely with the Enmax Centre to assist with refunds for the cancelled events and ask that ticket holders contact them directly at 403-329-7328 (Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) with any questions or concerns regarding tickets already purchased. Those who have purchased tickets for the Shakespeare events or horse and wagon rides can choose to still attend the garden on the date and time they originally purchased for and will be refunded any additional costs.