Sunday is more than the annual Oak Bay Light Up on The Avenue, it’s the kickoff to a month of activities for the Oak Bay Christmas Festival.
Sunday’s celebrations start with the closure of Oak Bay Avenue to pedestrians in the Village starting at 2 p.m.
It’s all in anticipation of a visit from Santa Claus himself. Live music runs from 3 to 6 p.m. and features jazz and Celtic yuletide favourites from Light Up music director Daniel Lapp and guests, such as Adrian Dolan, Adam Dobres, Sóley Lapp and more.
The Avenue will be lined with tables for crafts and activities, as well as food trucks, live music and thousands of lights.
The Kiwanis Club of Oak Bay is hosting a Letters to Santa letter writing and decorating station. It features a direct-to-the-North-Pole mailbox.
Kids can also make a mini-door “swag” decoration at the Oak Bay Flower Shop table or a Christmas craft at the Oak Bay United Church table. Oak Bay Recreation will once again host an ongoing street hockey game and other games, as well as a craft station. Planet Janet’s hoop jam will offer hula hooping for new or experienced hoopers. Oak Bay Avenue regular magician and entertainer Paul Kilshaw will perform magic and balloon twisting. Theatre SKAM will perform its intimate and original live theatre shorts in the mobile Pop Up Theatre.
Food trucks at this year’s Light Up are Indecent Risotto, Greek on the Street, Mr. Tube Steak and Noel’s Mini Donuts.
Ottavio Italian Bakery will come down to The Avenue with the first-roasted chestnuts of the season. Ottavio Italian Bakery is also hosting a Christmas market with a variety of local vendors plus food and drink sampling and a L’Apéro Pop-Up Raclette inside the deli.
The lights come on at 5 p.m., as counted down by the master of ceremonies Bill Murphy-Dyson.
Then Santa arrives, escorted by an Oak Bay Fire truck. Photos with Santa will follow in the Re/Max Camosun office, with donations supporting the Oak Bay Fire Department nonessential equipment fund. Following the Light Up are a series of seasonal celebrations: Art on the Avenue Gallery Walk is Nov. 28 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Lighted Truck Convoy will roll through Oak Bay Village on Dec. 7. In anticipation of the Truck Light Parade, Oak Bay Municipal Hall will have live music and accept food donations on the lawn at 5 p.m. For more information visit visitoakbayvillage.ca.