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Grinch cuts holiday light display in Kitchener park

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KITCHENER -

A holiday light display in Kitchener was meant to bring joy.

But instead, it was hit by vandals.

Christmas Fantasy opened in Victoria Park on Dec. 4, and since that time, lights and electrical cords have been found cut on two separate occasions.

Irina McCrossan said the display has been especially meaningful to her amid the challenges of the pandemic.

"I would walk around here and it would actually bring me some joy," she told CTV News.

"Victoria Park is a well-used space and it just sort of brings it alive during the holiday season," said Debbie Chapman, the councillor for Ward 9.

The Christmas Fantasy event is organized by the city with help from other organizations, including the Kitchener Pioneer Lions Club.

"We came and saw electrical cords that were out of the main panel," said Jessica Bailey, who works with the club.

The damage was discovered on two separate days.

Bailey calls the situation disheartening and dangerous.

"Depending on the cord, they're live. And then you have a hazard for the public."

Volunteers have tried to make repairs to the displays, but not everything can be fixed.

"Because of how it's wired at the beginning, we can't fix [some of them]," said Bailey.

This isn't the first year the displays have been damaged, but Bailey said the latest incident has been especially bad.

Losses are estimated to be in the hundreds of dollars.

"Please stop," pleaded Bailey. "We do this for the community, including you, to bring joy."

Those walking through the park were also disappointed to learn about the damage.

"Any kind of vandalism is wrong, but definitely when it's just something that's made to get people in the Christmas spirit," said Soleil Grise, who works nearby. "It seems extra intolerable."

"They're trying to bring joy to us," added McCrossan. "You're not only taking the joy away from yourself, but from other people."

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