Holiday lights have been added along a portion of the walking path at Rotary Beach in Summerland. The lights are part of an initiative to light up the route of the Giants Head Grind. (Contributed)

Organizers lighting route of Giants Head Grind in Summerland

Lighting initiative to begin at Okanagan Lake this year

The Summerland Rotary Club and the organizers of the Giants Head Grind are adding light to the festive season in Summerland this year.

Organizers of the Giants Head Grind have started Light Up The Grind, with the goal of lighting the entire route of the grind.

The route begins at Okanagan Lake and continues for more than five kilometres to the top of Giant’s Head Mountain. The elevation gain is 500 metres.

“Like so many events, the Summerland Festival of Lights had to take a break this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, all of us with the Giants Head Grind and Summerland Rotary want to keep the festival’s spirit alive by bringing some light to this holiday season,” Grind organizers said.

READ ALSO: Giants Head Grind postponed

READ ALSO: Summerland adjusting trails in Giant’s Head Mountain Park

The grind is an annual event in Summerland, held each year on the Saturday of the Victoria Day weekend in May. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the grind was cancelled.

The lighting project also helps mark the 75th anniversary of the Summerland Rotary Club this month.

For this year, people can already enjoy the lights at the beginning of the route, through Rotary Park and at Rotary Pier and along a portion of the walking path.

The organization is asking for donations to help with the lighting project.

“COVID-19 has stopped many things in our life but not the need to raise funds for a number of important activities that the Summerland Rotary Club takes on each year,” Ellen Walker-Matthews, a member of the Summerland Rotary Club and organizer of the Giants Head Grind.

“The Summerland Rotary Club and the Giants Head Grind have had to put many initiatives on hold. However, we are very committed to our ongoing work to raise awareness and early detection of colorectal cancer and to raise funds to support community projects including the Giant’s Head Mountain Trails and other important projects.”

The municipality of Summerland has supported the lighting initiative.

“The Summerland Rotary Club and the District have collaborated on other projects over the years — the most recent being Phases 1 and 2 of the Giant’s Head Trails Redevelopment Project,” said Summerland mayor Toni Boot.

“Council fully supports the Summerland Rotary Club’s efforts in creatively adapting this important fundraising initiative to align with provincial public health orders. We congratulate you on 75 years of service to our community.”

For more about the Summerland Rotary Club fundraising event and how to donate, please visit giantsheadgrind.com/help-us-light-up-the-grind/

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