The Pride of Esquimalt float sits waiting to make its way along the Celebration of Lights parade route last year. The parade, which winds up at the Esquimalt Plaza, continues to bring the community together in a big way, organizers say. Photo by Meagan Brame

Esquimalt’s Celebration of Lights a night for the community

Free, fun family event brings together people from various walks of life in Esquimalt

To say the Esquimalt Celebration of Lights is a community event is a major understatement.

This kickoff to the Christmas season, which celebrates its 12th year with the parade followed by the public gathering at Esquimalt Plaza this Sunday (Dec. 3), continues to broaden its reach, says committee member and Esquimalt Coun. Meagan Brame.

“It’s free, it’s family friendly, it gets people so in the mood and it’s just such a celebration and a happy event. Everybody loves Christmas lights,” she says.

The Celebration is about more than just flipping the switch and illuminating the town with colourful lights. It’s about bringing together disparate parts of the community for a mutual fun time. “The partnerships that have grown out of Celebration of Lights have been amazing,” Brame says.

Volunteers for this event are enthusiastic and come from all walks of life, she adds, from the Esquimalt High leadership students to the members of the Songhees Nation who last year built a “longboat” for Santa Claus to ride in, with Songhees youth paddling him in to the plaza.

Local recording artist and jazz songstress Maureen Washington and her band are providing the entertainment this year, and will be accompanied for some of the traditional Christmas tunes by students from Rockheights middle school.

Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for donation to the Rainbow Kitchen on Lyall Street, which provides free meals for people in need.

Merchants are on board big time for the event as well. Country Grocer provides the oranges and candy canes handed out on the night, and helps out the Esquimalt Lions with ingredients for the free hot dogs their volunteers cook up.

The parade and Christmas season kickoff was the vision of legendary Esquimalt resident and community booster Dino Fiorin, who passed away last year.

“[Because of that] it is even closer to our hearts as we go forward,” Brame says.

As a way to extend the atmosphere generated with the Celebration of Lights, the Township plans to produce a Christmas lights map featuring homes and other buildings lit up for the season, Brame says.

“Every year it gets stronger and fingers crossed, it doesn’t rain that night,” she says.

The parade starts at 5 p.m. sharp Dec. 3 from Canteen Road and travels along Esquimalt Road. The event runs until 7 p.m. For more information, visit esquimaltlights.ca.

editor@vicnews.com

 

A trio of penguins gather for a photo before assembling for the Esquimalt Celebration of Lights parade. The parade, which winds up at the Esquimalt Plaza, continues to bring the community together in a big way, organizers say. Photo by Meagan Brame

Just Posted

North Saanich Fire Department wins national Movember challenge

Team raises more than urban Edmonton, Toronto firefighters

Province launches lawsuit over Esquimalt sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after being dropped from marine lift in 2018

Saanich police first in B.C. to offer mental health resiliency training

Departments from Oak Bay, Saanich, Central Saanich complete trauma training class

Peninsula Panthers jump into first place with win over arch-rivals Victoria Cougars

Cougars beat the Panthers in all three previous games before Sunday’s 2-1 victory

Crash backs up northbound lanes of Pat Bay Highway

Drive BC warns of heavy congestion along busy route

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Vancouver Island blues musician’s mother’s home burglarized and ransacked

David Gogo’s 71-year-old mother has jewelry and artwork stolen in break-in

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

Most Read