Hundreds of people showed up last year for the City of Langford’s annual Christmas Light Up Celebration at Veterans Memorial Park. Families enjoyed hot chocolate, hot dogs, crafts, music, shopping and even a list from Santa, while waiting for the 19th annual Island Equipment Owners Truck Light Convoy to pass by. (Black Press file photo)

Greater Victoria communities get ready to kick off the holiday season

Here’s a list of free community celebrations taking place this weekend

‘Tis the season for holiday cheer. Local municipalities and community groups are getting together to officially kick off the holiday season with these great events, most of which take place this weekend across Greater Victoria.

Marina Light Up Kick-Off

Friday, Nov. 30

5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Start the weekend off with some holiday cheer at the annual Marina Light Up Kick-Off at the Causeway marina docks in front of the Empress Hotel. Walk the docks to explore the lighted vessels while you sip on free hot chocolate. There could also be a few Christmas surprises in the works so be prepared for some holiday fun.

Langford Christmas Light Up Celebration

Saturday, Dec. 1

6 to 8 p.m.

The 12th annual City of Langford official Christmas Light Up Celebration coincides with the annual Island Equipment Owners’ Truck Light Convoy and Food Drive. Taking place at Veterans Memorial Park (at the corner of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway), festivities get underway at 6 p.m. with the Goldstream Station Christmas Market. Santa will be arriving shortly after at 6:15 p.m., followed by Christmas greetings, the tree light up and finally, the IEOA Truck Light Convoy and Food Drive. Musical entertainment will be provided by Westshore Community Concert Band, Kydo the Clown, the Ablaze Singers Choir, and Clarks Martial Arts.

Saanich Deck the Hall Winter Lights Festival

Saturday, Dec. 1

5 to 8 p.m.

Start the holiday season off right at Saanich Municipal Hall, 770 Vernon Ave., with a festive lights display and a variety of seasonal activities. This free event features a children’s Christmas concert, photos with Santa, arts and crafts stations, seasonal games and more.

Performances will be in council chambers starting at 5 p.m. with Pacific Christian Elementary, followed by Quadra Elementary at 5:30, Oaklands Elementary at 6, Tillicum Elementary at 6:30, and Campus View Elementary at 7.

Esquimalt Celebration of Lights Parade

Sunday, Dec. 2

5 t0 7 p.m.

Kick off the holiday season in Esquimalt with a light parade and Christmas carols featuring Maureen Washington, the Rockheights Middle School choir and the Victoria Cougars hockey team. The parade begins at Canteen Road, proceeds along Esquimalt Road to the arena, where the celebration continues. Residents should expect some traffic delays and may want to use alternative routes between 4:45 and 5:45 p.m. Esquimalt Road will be closed from 601 to 1151 Esquimalt Rd. and only local traffic will be permitted southbound on Admirals Road at the Admirals and Colville intersection.

Sidney Sparkles Christmas Parade and Sailpast

Sunday, Dec. 2

5 to 6 p.m.

Join the Peninsula Celebrations Society for the Sidney Sparkles Christmas Parade along Beacon Avenue in downtown Sidney. The parade begins along Resthaven Drive and turns onto Beacon Avenue, right onto Second Street and ends at Ocean Avenue.

Once the parade completes its route, residents are encouraged to move to the Sidney waterfront around Beacon Park to watch the Lighted Boat Parade, which starts approximately 15 minutes after the Sidney Sparkles Christmas Parade. Bring layers and be prepared for the weather.

Colwood Christmas Light Up

Thursday, Dec. 6

6 to 8 p.m.

Reconnect with friends and neighbours while you enjoy music by local school choirs at Colwood City Hall, 3300 Wishart Rd. Grab a hot dog, a mug of hot chocolate and a delicious freshly baked apple fritter, all provided by local businesses and are free while supplies last. West Shore Parks and Recreation will be on hand to keep the little ones engaged with fun craft activities. Colwood Fire Rescue will also be arriving with a very special guest at 7 p.m.

Donations are being accepted for the Christmas Backpack Project and the Goldstream Food Bank under the City Hall Christmas tree.

Send your favourite photos from holiday events to vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.


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