Drunken, destructive rampage fails to ruin lantern festival

Langley man, 24, arrested after pumpkins smashed, canopies broken ahead of annual Wall of Lanterns festival in Aldergrove

The third annual Wall of Lanterns Festival at Aldergrove’s Philip Jackman Park was a huge success on Saturday despite one drunk man’s efforts to ruin it.

On Friday night, at midnight, Langley RCMP arrested a “heavily intoxicated” 24-year-old Langley man just after he allegedly smashed more than 30 pumpkins, threw compost bins and broke canopies and tents set up for the festival.

Police believe he entered the fenced-off area in the company of a woman and started wrecking the place, said Cpl. Holly Marks.

The Langley man is known to police.

He was arrested and released with a promise to appear in court on Jan. 6, 2014.

RCMP will recommend charges of mischief under $5,000.

On Saturday, volunteers with the festival cleaned up the damage and the festival went off without a hitch, with blue skies and thousands taking part in all the day and evening festivities.