Airdrie Festival of Lights names new president
Thursday, May 30, 2013 11:33 am
Airdrie’s Festival of Lights, a yearly outdoor holiday light show, will have a new president in advance of the 17th annual event.
Rob Pirzek is returning as president for the society after serving in that role from 2009 to 2010. Pirzek has been involved with the society in multiple roles over the years, including director and volunteer.
“I moved here 10 years ago and have always been involved,” Pirzek said. “I always enjoy being at the festival.”
Pirzek saw a need to step back into the president role after Bob Abbott, who served as president since 2010, stepped down. Abbott said he felt it was time for a change, as serving as festival president is a demanding position.
The society is expecting its one millionth visitor in 2015. In advance of that, Pirzek said he hopes to make the festival better each year.
More than 48,000 people attended the festival in 2012, which last year was listed by where.ca as a top 10 holiday light display.
Abbott said that the society paid nearly half a million dollars on lights for the festival in the 1990s. Aside from the light display, the festival also features hot chocolate, food vendors and miniature trains, which carry families around pre-set paths.
“We’re trying to partner with Creative Airdrie to make some new displays,” Pirzek said. “We’re trying to move forward in advance of our 20th year.”
This year, the festival has added two new youth director positions, and Pirzek said the society is always looking for more volunteers.
The two youth directors, Laidan Besler and Indervir Bhangoo, will be focused on getting more youth volunteers involved in the festival.
“The young people have always been a significant part of our set-up and take down,” Abbott said. “Now we’ve taken the next step to provide a voice so they can speak at the managerial level.”
The Airdrie Festival of Lights has presented a holiday light show since December of 1996. The festival runs every night in December.
Pirzek said the festival was successful each year due its strong connection to the community.
“Just walk through the park and look at the lights,” Pirzek said. “It’s a nice night out for the community.”
The festival is volunteer-run and free to enter. For more information, visit airdriefestivaloflights.com