Photo/Illutration A scene from last year's Sendai Pageant of Starlight (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

SENDAI--Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, the popular annual Sendai Pageant of Starlight has been given the green light, with special precautions in place this year.

The central part of the Miyagi prefectural capital will be lit up with 600,000 LED bulbs, the same as last year, the executive committee announced on Nov. 11. The light show will be held from Dec. 18 to Jan. 11.

"We hope people wear masks and take other measures to prevent the spread of infections before they come to enjoy it," said Shingo Takahashi, head of the executive committee.

To prevent congestion, the run will be extended to January for the first time, with nightly showings limited to Saturdays, Sundays and national holidays in that month.

Visitors will be restricted from entering the tree-lined walkway running through the center of Jozenji-dori avenue.

To ease traffic congestion, the lights will be lit at 7 p.m., about one hour later than usual. The show will start at 6 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Jan. 11, a national holiday.

Most of the usual accompanying events, including the lighting ceremony, will be canceled this year.