It’s taken more than three weeks and two million lights to transform the forest around Stanley Park’s Children’s Farmyard into a twinkling Christmas wonderland for Bright Nights.

Firefighters from around the Lower Mainland have volunteered around 4,000 hours working with park staff to set up the 12th annual holiday event, which opens Friday.

Visitors can walk through the woods under a canopy of Christmas lights or hop on the train and ride through a twinkling forest full of animated holiday displays. There will also be hot chocolate, popcorn and roasted chestnuts, and Santa will be working in his workshop.

 

The event raises money for the B.C. Professional Fire Fighter’s Burn Fund, and executive director David Dales said they’re aiming to raise $250,000 this year.

“The money we raise here helps support burn research, education and prevention,” he said. “But what it impacts the most is burn survivors.”

“Children — the biggest group — their burn injuries are very horrific,” said Dales. “They’re not (necessarily) comfortable taking their shirt off in gym class so we offer a burn camp, and the firefighters pay airfare, food, everything … We give them one week a year where they will swim.”