Neil Salmond and his wife Michelle decided to bring back their infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display for one more year to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Neil Salmond and his wife Michelle decided to bring back their infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display for one more year to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Famous Saanich ‘Christmas House’ returns with encore display amid pandemic

Tuxedo Drive Christmas display lit up nightly from 5-11 p.m. until Jan. 1

On New Year’s Day 2018, Neil Salmond shut off the massive Christmas lights display at his home on Tuxedo Drive for the last time – or so he thought.

For nearly 30 years, the Salmond family’s “Christmas House” at 4091 Tuxedo Dr. was a Saanich institution with inflatables towering more than 30 feet in the air, robotic decorations and line-ups of cars down to Quadra Street.

In 2017, after an injury that made it hard to climb the ladder, Salmond decided to create the display for one last holiday season and then it would be lights out in the new year. He sold all the decorations to Merridale Cidery in Cobble Hill and that was it – the end of an era.

However, with the ongoing pandemic, Salmond and his wife decided to deck the halls for one last hurrah to brighten people’s holiday season.

“With COVID times, people need something to look at,” he explained, adding that the display is smaller than it used to be but he hopes it will still bring joy. “We just wanted to make people smile.”

Because they’d sold all their decorations, the Salmonds scrounged for lights, bought new nutcrackers, sought out festive bears and borrowed robotic decor from Galey Farms.

There’s a Santa in a hot air balloon, robotic owls, a bear riding a bike and lights strung high in the trees with the help of a lift courtesy of United Rentals. Many of the decorations were designed by Salmond, his wife Michelle and a friend of his who worked with Disney.

The display used to draw in thousands and Salmond expects the same this year.

Every night from now until Jan. 1, those seeking a dose of holiday joy can cruise by. The lights go on at 5 p.m. and shut off around 11 p.m. Visitors are asked to practice social distancing and follow pandemic guidelines, and Salmond recommends coming by after dark because that’s when the lights really shine.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

ChristmasDistrict of Saanich

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Pedestrians stop to check out the infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display which has returned for an encore to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Pedestrians stop to check out the infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display which has returned for an encore to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Neil Salmond and his wife Michelle decided to bring back their infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display for one more year to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Neil Salmond and his wife Michelle decided to bring back their infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display for one more year to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Just Posted

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us – maybe

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend

Snow on Malahat to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Most Read