Students attend holiday events with safety measures in place

By: Emily Sikora

Winnipeggers can add Zoo Lights to their list of holiday events to attend this year now that restrictions have loosened. 

Jordan Kling, Red River College Polytechnic Electrical Engineering Technology student, said he remembers going to Zoo Lights in the past.

“Fun, cold…it was absolutely a nice way to celebrate with family,” said Kling. “It’s really nice to be able to go out and do things again…last year felt monotonous.”

Zoo Lights is an outdoor light show at the Assiniboine Park Zoo where visitors can walk through Zoo grounds and view larger-than-life light displays. The event is back for the holiday season after being postponed last year due to the pandemic.

Assiniboine Park Zoo implemented COVID-19 safety measures which require visitors to wear masks in all indoor spaces and provide proof of vaccination for those 12 and older.

With safety measures in place, some RRC Polytech students said they are excited to be able to meet again for this holiday tradition.

Jason Moore, an RRC Polytech Digital Film and Media Production student, said he remembers the lights being “pretty cool.”

“I went with my family,” said Moore. “We got to do something together. The lights were magnificent actually, there’s a lot of them.”

Visitors take photos in front of a Zoo Lights display at Assiniboine Park Zoo on Saturday, Dec. 11./EMILY SIKORA

Laura Cabak, the Communications & Public Relations Manager for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, said the event was important to build community. 

“This is an event that our community has really embraced,” said Cabak. “It helps build connection in … a positive way…we’re very happy to bring it back this year for the holiday season.”

Madison Mayert and Hadley Anthony, two friends who attended the event on Saturday, Dec. 11, said that Zoo Lights has given them an opportunity to get together with friends and family.

“It’s really nice, really pretty…with COVID-19 it’s been hard to find stuff to do,” said Mayert.

“Last year it was pretty hard ‘cause there weren’t any celebrations or … Christmas with your family,” said Anthony. “Now you can get out and actually do stuff with them.”

The event features over one million lights, warming stations, vendors, and live music.

Zoo Lights at the Assiniboine Park Zoo will run from Nov. 26, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022.