bc-081209-christmas-lights

Crowds and traffic are threatening the popular Christmas light display on Trinity Street in East Vancouver. ((CBC))

A popular neighbourhood Christmas light display in East Vancouver may become a victim of its own success.

For 10 years, people who live along a six-block stretch of Trinity Street have shown their holiday spirit with festive light displays.

The neighbourhood project started out as a way to get people in the neighbourhood just to the northeast of the PNE grounds to connect with each other, and it has been a tremendous success, said organizer Cate Jones.

Every year it has grown, drawing larger and larger crowds and more and more traffic, and that has created problems: residents' cars being sideswiped, congested streets and decidedly non-Christmas-like road rage as drivers battle through the gridlock to check out the lights.

So, Jones said there is a new slogan for the event this year: "Use your feet to see our street."

"By this time next week, this street will be teeming with pedestrians, and there will be strangers talking to each other and the sounds of the kids' voices as they walk up the street is something that is magical," said Jones.

But if their foot-friendly holiday message doesn't get through, Jones said the neighbourhood will have to seriously consider whether it's worth holding the festival next year.

The show is free, but visitors can pay $2 for a ballot to vote on the best display, with proceeds going to a local daycare and hospice.