What better place to proposed than under a mistletoe archway at Williams Park? Dan Sanders surprised Keziah Van Vliet on Saturday, Dec. 8. (Jen Sanders/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

What better place to proposed than under a mistletoe archway at Williams Park? Dan Sanders surprised Keziah Van Vliet on Saturday, Dec. 8. (Jen Sanders/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

A surprise under the mistletoe at Christmas in Williams Park

New addition to annual Langley light show records first marriage proposal

Keziah Van Vliet didn’t see it coming.

“I didn’t have a clue,” recalled a happy Van Vliet.

All the 22-year-old Chilliwack resident knew was her boyfriend Dan Sanders, a 24-year-old from Abbotsford, wanted to spend Saturday, Dec. 7, reliving some of the high points from the year-and-a-half they’ve been a couple.

It was a “quick trip down memory lane” as Dan put it, that, among other things, included a visit to the CN Rail station in Fort Langley, where they’d danced one time.

Dan, on hearing that Keziah didn’t get a proper prom dance when she was in school, had arranged to bring his own music system to accompany them.

So Dan’s notion of revisiting pleasant past romantic memories didn’t seem at all out of character to Keziah.

As their day was drawing to a close, they headed to Williams park to see the Christmas light show.

Keziah had only been there a few times with Dan, but she knew it had a special place in Dan’s memories.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Lighting up Williams Park

READ ALSO: VIDEO: The return of the girl who saved Christmas

He’s been going since he was seven or eight, when he and some friends would grab a burger and fries at a nearby Triple-O diner before heading for the park.

“Williams Park has always been special to me and my family,” he would later explain.

“I knew it would be a good place to do a proposal.”

Dan knew the park had just added a new feature, a mistletoe arch way, and he was planning to use it to create some new memories.

The couple had spoken, briefly, about getting married a few times, Dan related, but hadn’t got around to getting engaged.

“I always knew she was the one for me.”

After he found out about the arch, Dan got in touch with Barb Sharp, the president of the Christmas in Williams Park Society non-profit group that organizes the annual event.

He explained that he was planning to propose under the arch, and arranged with Sharp to have his older sister Jen hang some special Christmas ornaments with pictures of the two of them.

When they arrived, around 6:30 p.m., Sharp was discreetly positioned down the pathway from the arch, asking other visitors to delay their walks so Dan and Keziah could have their moment.

“Hang on for a second,” she asked, and people did.

When they got to the arch, Dan suggested Keziah should take a closer look at the arch.

“I told her her to turn and look at the ornaments,” he recalled.

Keziah remembers being surprised to see the ornaments with their pictures, and then, when she turned back, seeing Dan was on one knee with a ring in his hand.

She teared up a little, and said yes.

“It was very sweet,” she told the Langley Advance Times afterwards.

She would later learns that Dan had asked her parents for permission to marry their daughter more than two weeks before the event, and they had kept the secret to preserve the surprise.

A date for the marriage hasn’t been set yet, she added.

“It will probably be a winter wedding.”

Sharp believes it was the very first time the new archway was the scene of a marriage proposal.

“As far as I know,” she laughed.

Christmas in Williams Park, which is located near 68th Avenue and 238th Street, will run until Dec. 21 every night between 5 p.m. and 9, p.m. rain or shine or snow.

Admission is free, but visitors are invited to make donations.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Dan Sanders surprised Keziah Van Vliet on Saturday, Dec. 8 with a proposal at Williams Park under the new mistletoe archway. (Barb Sharp/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Dan Sanders surprised Keziah Van Vliet on Saturday, Dec. 8 with a proposal at Williams Park under the new mistletoe archway. (Barb Sharp/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Dan Sanders arranged these special ornaments showing moments with Keziah Van Vliet on Saturday, Dec. 8 as part of a surprise proposal at Williams Park under the new mistletoe archway. (Dan Sanders/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Dan Sanders arranged these special ornaments showing moments with Keziah Van Vliet on Saturday, Dec. 8 as part of a surprise proposal at Williams Park under the new mistletoe archway. (Dan Sanders/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has announced a lottery for vaccinated Albertans. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Our View: If a lottery would help promote vaccines, why not hold one?

Getting to 80 per cent vaccinations could be easier with a couple million-dollar prizes

A shredding truck was full to the brim after a shred-it by donation event was held at the seniors centre recently. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Shred-It boosts Langley seniors programs

One-day event helps raise more than $7,500 for food security and new resource centre initiatives

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Langley woman grateful to two strangers when car failed

Two young men pushed her car to safety then she had a medical emergency

The planned site of the new development is highlighted in red, with the existing Tall Timbers complex to the north and 56th Avenue to the south. (Township of Langley)
Neighbours need input on planned development near Tall Timbers: Township council

A housing development at 56th Avenue and 240th Street is on pause for now

Electric vehicles have a few different types of plugs but makers such as Tesla provide adapters so they can use public charging stations. (Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward)
LETTER: Electric vehicle infrastructure is coming

More charging stations are coming as part of the switch away from fossil fuels, letter writer says

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read