With a honk and a wave and hundreds of Christmas lights strapped to their big rigs, 80 truck drivers will deliver a healthy dose of holiday spirit on Saturday night (Dec. 3).
The 13th annual IEOA Truck Light Parade, which will navigate through six municipalities on the South Island, has become a highlight for drivers and spectators alike.
“I’ve probably got 14 companies on the wait list at the moment,” said Laura Brewer, secretary manager of the Island Equipment Owners Association, which organizes the parade.
The convoy of lighted trucks first hits the gas at Ogden Point at 5:45 p.m. and meanders through Victoria, Oak Bay, Saanich, View Royal and Colwood, wrapping up at Western Speedway in Langford around 8:15 p.m.
Many spectators plan gatherings to coincide with parade night.
“I have phone calls months in advance making sure that the route is going to be the same. In Oak Bay people have their cocktail parties and their house parties. In Langford they do the bonfires and (in View Royal they hold) tailgate parties behind (Victoria General Hospital) on Watkiss Way,” Brewer said. “Everyone’s going to claim their spot.”
The event will again support the Mustard Seed food bank, West Shore Christmas Hamper Fund Society and Sidney Lions food bank. For details on the parade route and Western Speedway celebration, please visit ieoa.ca.
When the motorcade passes through downtown Victoria, spectators near the Inner Harbour can simply turn around and watch the 22nd annual Lighted Ship Parade, beginning at about 7:15 p.m.
“It happens on the same night as the Lighted Truck Parade, so people can enjoy both parades, back-to-back,” said Rebecca Penz, spokesperson for the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, which stages the event.
“There’s been a long history and tradition of activities in the harbour, and the (harbour authority), which has only been around for nine years, gets to be a part of that history and tradition.”
Enjoy the spectacle of 25 lighted vessels from dry land at Ship Point, where there will be a special holiday artisan market from 5 to 9 p.m. Free candy canes and hot chocolate are available by donation, carolling by the Glenlyon Norfolk school choir and a visit from Santa Claus.
Cash and new and gently used clothing donations will be collected for the Victoria Cool Aid Society.
For details, please visit victoriaharbour.org.