The popular Bright Nights holiday event has been extended for five days due to high demand, with thousands of additional tickets for the Stanley Park mini-train set to go on sale Thursday morning.
The event was set to run from Nov. 30 until Jan. 1, but will now end on Jan. 6, the park board said, and capacity on the Stanley Park train will be expanded thanks to additional carriages.
Bright Nights is an annual free event, with donations welcomed that support the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund.
John Brodie, director of business services for the park board, advised residents to get their train tickets as early as possible on Thursday morning, with access to an online waiting room available at 8:30 a.m. and ticket sales going live at 9 a.m.
An additional 17,000 tickets for the Stanley Park mini-train will go on sale on the morning of Nov. 30, says the park board. (Ben Nelms/CBC)
An additional 17,000 tickets will be available, the park board said. Earlier this month, 23,000 tickets for the Bright Nights event were snapped up within 90 minutes of them going on sale.
"It's unfortunate that ... some people may not get tickets," Brodie told Gloria Macarenko, host of CBC's On The Coast, on Wednesday. "But I think it's just a reminder of how this event resonates with the public.
"It brings smiles to people's faces. I took a walk just this morning of the site and it looks amazing."
Brodie said the park board was working with a third-party ticketing partner to resolve "frustrations" with the original sale, and he hopes the waiting room system will help mitigate high demand.
He also addressed incoming fee hikes for all park board services starting next year, including a six per cent increase to the price of an adult admission ticket for the Stanley Park train.
"Although unfortunate, it's just something that we need to do to make sure that we're being fiscally responsible," he said of the hikes, which have been criticized by local little leagues and park user groups.
Anyone wanting to buy tickets to the Bright Nights train can visit the park board website.
Organizers say those who can't get train tickets are welcome to visit the park for the lights display, Santa's workshop and nightly live music.