Saanichton will be a bustling place this weekend as businesses will take part in the 12th Saanichton Community Christmas.
Put on by the Saanichton Village Association, the event has raised a considerable amount of money over the years for the Sidney Lions Food Bank.
“It started very small and over the years we added various components,” said Jim Townley, president of the Saanichton Village Association.
The Community Christmas and Winter Market will have a pancake breakfast with Santa, photos with Santa, a Christmas Tree Trail, horse-drawn carriage rides and more between 9:00 and 1:00 p.m. on Dec. 3.
Last year over 200 people came out just for the breakfast alone.
“Then we do a tree trail for the kids so we’re trying to create an interactive piece for families that doesn’t cost a lot of money,” said Townley.
With 14 trees (and businesses) on the tree trail, kids will get a map and can then walk from business to business. They will then get little stamps or a chocolate, and can then make their way to the Pioneer Museum.
People can also bring some food to their food bank drop off in the Pioneer Square mall (in the plaza of Peninsula Pizza), and girl guide troops will be picking up donations as people drive through.
There will also be a pop-up winter market in the village with local vendors and live music. This year’s band is Knackers Yard, who are a well-known local Celtic band.
Townley said the response from the community has grown every year.
“It’s the one event a year that we do to really prepare the community for that buy local, support your local business…”
The Christmas headquarters is Fresh Cup Roastery Cafe, and maps will be provided at the Pancake Breakfast at St. Mary’s Church or Fresh Cup.
“When kids are finished their pancake breakfast, they can take a map…”
Kids can start at St. Mary’s, which also has a tree, so they can get their first stamp and proceed into the village’s 13 other businesses participating in the trail. Townley said the kids will usually finish at the Pioneer Museum where they can decorate some gingerbread cookies.
Ballots are then collected at the end, and the business with the best decorating or most support will get an award.
“It’s probably one of the most interactive events, and it’s meant to get people out of their cars…” said Townley.
For information on times, see the schedule on this page or visit saanichtonvillage.ca.
Community Christmas event times: Dec. 1
• 9:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Pancake Breakfast with Santa at St. Mary’s Church (corner of East Saanich and Cultra) and photos with Santa by donation to the Sidney Lions Food Bank.
• 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Christmas Tree Trail and Gingerbread Decorating at various businesses in the Saanichton Village. Collect a stamp at each location. Maps provided at St. Mary’s Church or Fresh Cup Roastery Cafe.
•10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Two Christmas carriages will make their way around the Saanichton Village (provided by Tall-Ho Carriage Tours).