Columbia Association releases Press Release in response to 2020 Symphony of Lights Ticket Sale Plan
Oh boy - things just got real. Columbia Association issued a press release this morning alleging that the operators of the Symphony of Lights event are moving forward with a plan to sell tickets for a 2020 Symphony of Lights event despite the pending lawsuit over the event. The press release is below and here are links to the articles I wrote over the summer about the legal proceedings.
June 30: Columbia Association files legal action to shut down Symphony of Lights Vehicle Parade
July 27: Howard County General Hospital Testimony sheds light on Symphony of Lights Dispute
August 13: The Columbia Association Side of the Symphony of Lights Story
August 17: 10 Ways to make a Walking Symphony of Lights Winter Festival Awesome (opinion piece)
Press Release from the Columbia Association
Note: Since initial publication, the press release has been updated by CA to indicate that the operators have not yet started ticket sales, just that the operator has plans to move forward with the event this year. This is consistent with the note on MerriweatherLights.com that a 2020-2021 season is "coming soon".
CA Responds to Progress on 2020 Symphony of Lights Event
October 12, 2020
COLUMBIA, MD - A lawsuit filed by Columbia Association (CA) against the current Symphony of Lights operator is still the subject of ongoing litigation. As that lawsuit moves its way through the court system, it has come to our attention that the operator plans to move forward with a 2020 Symphony of Lights event. It's CA's understanding that the holiday lights procession would once again make its way through Symphony Woods Park (the Park).
CA has attempted to work with the organization that now runs Symphony of Lights, hoping to create a more sustainable event that takes the environmental value and integrity of CA’s open space into account. Rather than cooperate, the operator ignored CA’s concerns and held a vehicular processional event last winter and is now advertising a similar event for 2020. This is being done without CA’s license or permission and in violation of multiple easement agreements.
As court proceedings continue, any attempt to use any CA open space or property for a holiday lights vehicular procession without proper licensing and permission will be seen as a direct infringement of CA’s property rights.
The land at Symphony Woods Park is owned by CA, but the space truly belongs to all members of our community. CA has a responsibility to maintain and protect the valuable and rare green space it owns in Downtown Columbia for the use and benefit of those community members, a duty rooted in James Rouse’s vision. The procession of slow and idling vehicles during Symphony of Lights blocks and impedes CA and its guests from accessing Symphony Woods Park and its amenities for as many as six weeks during the holiday season.