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One of Victoria’s most beloved Christmas traditions returns this weekend with a sparkle.
The 38th annual Island Farms Santa’s Light Parade will light up the streets of downtown Victoria on Saturday, November 30th, kicking off the holiday season in spectacular style.
Over 50,000 people are expected to make their way downtown, so get there early to find a good spot to view the show.
“Rain or shine, it will be packed downtown,” says Kelly Kurta, Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Festival Society. “Everybody’s really excited for it. It’s a great feeling. It’s a holiday feeling.”
Previous parades have featured antique fire trucks from the Victoria Fire Department, a giant ferris wheel from Country Grocer, and LED-covered dancers and an ice sculpture from a joint effort between Galey Farms and Stages Dance Company.
The highlight of the parade is the Island Farms float, which carries jolly Old Saint Nick through the streets.
Starting at 5 p.m., Santa’s parade — which is also the largest night time parade in Canada — will make its way up Government Street.
The display starts at Belleville Street and ends in Centennial Square — dubbed “Christmas Square” for the evening and featuring food trucks, bouncy castles, crafts and music from 4 p.m. onwards.
Government Street will be fully open to traffic until 4:45 p.m., though, so Victorians are advised to be safe and aware of vehicles.
After the parade, all the good children (and adults, too) can snack on free cookies and milk handed out by Santa Claus himself at Christmas Square. The annual Christmas Tree Light-Up takes place at 7 p.m. sharp so don’t be late for that!
Victorians can also participate in the season of giving by bringing donations to the parade. With both a toy drive and Mustard Seed food drive present at the Square, folks can give back while enjoying the festivities.
With plenty of entertainment and lots of good cheer, the “Miracle on Government Street” really is the most exciting way to kick off Christmas and really get into the spirit of the holidays!
- When: Saturday, November 30th
- Christmas Square Activities: 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Santa’s Light Parade: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Christmas Tree Light-Up: 7 p.m.