The streets of Victoria will look a little different this year around the holidays.
The annual Santa’s Light Christmas parade and the Island Equipment Owners Association (IEOA) Truck Light Convoy have both been cancelled in 2020 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement was made on Thursday in a joint statement from the Greater Victoria Festival Society and the IEOA.
“With the ongoing uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic and the inability to safely host our amazing crowds we had to make the decision to not go ahead with the events as we know them, for this year,” reads the statement.
“Our respective Boards of Directors’ priorities are to protect the public, the participants and the volunteers and do our part to keep our local community safe.”
2020 would have marked the 39th year for the Santa’s Light parade, and the 22nd year for the IEOA Truck Light Convoy.
In their place, the two organizations have joined together to dream up a different, more pandemic-proof event.
“The Greater Victoria Festival Society will host a 5 week ‘Light Up The City’ campaign beginning the day of the original Santa Claus Parade; November 28 through January 3, 2021,” reads the statement.
“Event organizers in the city are pooling their resources and collaborating together to coordinate a set of drive through drop off events every Saturday in the ‘core’ municipalities of Greater Victoria.”
Organizers will be accepting non-perishable food, new toys and cash donations to pass along to local food banks, Salvation Army, and Toy banks, in keeping with the spirit of fundraising that drove the original parades.
These drive through events will feature Santa and Mrs. Claus, lighted convoy trucks, music and more, as Victoria residents drive through and drop off donations.
In addition, the Greater Victoria Festival Society is bringing back the Christmas Lighting Contest throughout all 13 municipalities.
This means prizes for the most creatively decked out properties, and categories will include homes, apartment/condos, local businesses, community organizations and First Nations.
Victoria Buzz will have more information and details on these events as they unfold, so stay tuned!