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Downpours thin out crowds at Vancouver seasonal attractions, others braving the rain

VanDusen Garden (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If all this rain has you swapping your outdoor plans for something a little more dry and warm, you’re not alone.

It turns out the downpours have been thinning out attendance at various seasonal attractions around Vancouver.

The Vancouver Christmas Market, Festival of Lights at the VanDusen Botanical Garden and Stanley Park’s Bright Nights are still open, but the lineups aren’t quite as long as they might be when the clouds part.

Market president Malte Kluetz admits it gets pretty quiet when it’s really stormy outside, like it was a couple weeks ago.

“When the rain was really coming sideways,” he says with a laugh. “It was just a day no one really wanted to be outside. Attendance probably dropped by 70 per cent.”

“Obviously, if the sun is out then way more visitors come to the Christmas Market,” he adds.

Staff at the botanical garden say they’re grateful for advance online ticket sales, which are date specific.

“So those people still enjoy the event in the rain,” Emily Schultz with VanDusen and the Bloedel Conservatory tells NEWS 1130, adding the rain does affect gate ticket sales during the week.

“But we have seen a lot of visitors this week just braving the rain and bundling up and grabbing an umbrella.”

However, bad weather may have its upsides.

“Some actually really enjoy coming during a time when it’s not that busy because they really have a chance to talk to the vendors, and just see a little more, experience everything a little more in depth,” Kluetz explains.

Being based in a city where rain is very common, he says there are also indoor spaces that get a little more foot traffic when the showers begin.

“The lights are just as beautiful in the rain, and it’s nice to enjoy it on a night where it’s a bit quieter, less visitors on some sites so it’s a great opportunity to get those awesome Instagram shots for the holiday photos,” Schultz adds.

She says VanDusen has been running the event for the past three decades.

“We’re very used to weather impacts and we’re pretty much open every day, whether it be rain, snow, or shine,” she adds.

None of the electrical systems are impacted by the downpours either, she says. “Everything’s prepared for this sort of weather.”

If you’re looking for something to do indoors, Schultz suggests checking out the Holiday Heights event at the Bloedell Conservatory, which is opening up.

Meantime, Stanley Park also sees a drop in attendance when the winds pick up and the rains start to come down.