By Howard Yune
Napa slimmed down its first pandemic-era Lighted Art Festival and spread its schedule out over nearly two months for spectators’ safety, and those changes should allow the open-air downtown exhibition to return in mid-January as planned despite another surge in coronavirus cases, according to the parks department.
The festival’s long-delayed fourth edition is still on course to open Jan. 15 and remain on display nightly through March 13, according to the city’s recreation manager Katrina Gregory. A move away from animated projections onto buildings and toward a set of eight static outdoor-only light displays – as well an expansion of the viewing period from nine days to eight weeks, to spread out spectators over the greater part of winter – should allow the show to safely go on, she predicted.
“Thinking back to earlier this year, we knew there could still be uncertainty at this time of year,” she said of the revamped 2022 festival, which will include a fraction of the displays showcased each year since its debut in December 2017. “This is all sculpture art, where people can interact at their own pace. With this format, it lends itself more to our current environment.”