Attending the new Glow Christmas Light Garden and Market in Milner this holiday season could fast become a family tradition, and an easy way to give to charities. (Special to the Langley Advance)

VIDEO: Lights and wonder bedeck Milner Village in Langley

Glow benefits charities and delivering a unique indoor Christmas experience.

by Ronda Payne/Special to the Langley Advance

A new event has come to Langley to delight kids of all ages with lights, entertainment, and family fun.

Glow Christmas Light Garden and Market opens inside the Milner Village Garden Centre this Friday, Nov. 24 and runs Mondays to Saturdays from 4 to 10 p.m. until Dec. 30.

The 103,000-square-foot greenhouse will be transformed with half a million lights set up in four distinctly themed light gardens and a 210-foot musical light tunnel.

Plus, with food trucks and a pop-up market on site, it’s the ideal way to have festive fun while shopping without the stress, said Glow’s event manager, Jonathan Houweling.

The idea took form sometime in the spring of 2017 according to Houweling.

“The original idea came from the owner and CFO of Davonda Nurseries. They identified the space was perfect for the event,” he said. “People honestly love Christmas events, they love family events. The biggest complaint is that everything is outdoors.”

With the massive garden centre transformed, there’s no need to battle the elements to enjoy the beauty and wonder of a holiday event, he suggested.

“Milner Gardens has a huge retail area and it’s awesome,” Houweling said of the site at 6690 216th St.

When Houweling came on board, he recognized the need to add charities to the equation.

“I tried to pick two very practical and different charities in Langley and then a larger one with Canuck Place,” he noted. “They’ve been great, the charities.”

Langley Hospice Society, Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice are the main charities supported through ticket sales.

“Basically if people type in a promo code… $4 will go to their selected charity,” Houweling explained.

Tickets can be purchased at glowchristmas.ca. Enter promo code LangleyHospice and $4 of your ticket purchase will go to support the local hospice.

Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation’s code is LMHF, and using the code CanuckPlace will see funds contributed to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

“It’s Christmas time, it’s about giving and it’s about sharing with our community,” he said.

“Other charities approached us, but you can only have so many partners.”

However, to ensure other charities are also involved, the jolly old elf himself will play a part.

Selfies with Santa will be done by donation, and that money will go to a different charity each day. Houweling said it’s a small way to share the giving spirit of the season.

With lights, a site-wide liquor licence (and bar), different musical performances every night, and a kids zone with a Christmas treasure hunt, there’s plenty for everyone to see and do.

“We are North America’s largest indoor Christmas light display,” he said. “We have eight food trucks, as well.”

With a 40 vendor market, shopping can include the hunt for clothing, food, soap and hand-crafted items, art and more.

“You can shop, you can grab some food from the food trucks, you can have a glass of local B.C. wine or local craft beer from the Trading Post or put a shot of rum in your eggnog,” Houweling explained. “It’s over half a million lights and it’s warm and dry.”

A team of close to 100 people worked to put everything together and create what Houweling described as a lot of open space to wander around, enjoy family and friends and take in the lights.

While it’s obviously too soon to confirm whether the event will happen again in 2018, he did give his opinion.

“We do want to be around a long time,” he said. “We want to become a tradition. It’s an opportunity to see over half a million carefully constructed and positioned lights in a building I can guarantee [most people have] never been in. We cannot wait to see our friends and neighbours come out and visit us.”

For tickets or more information about the inaugural Glow Christmas Light Garden and Market visit glowchristmas.ca.

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