Rowen Closs-Reidel reacts to Santa as his good friend Athena Lynngood gives Santa her wishes during last year’s Oak Bay Light up.

Oak Bay aglow with the holiday spirit

Lights up and festivities on tap for Sunday event

Nearly 101,000 bulbs are ready to light up Sunday evening.

More than 1,400 strings of lights went up over the past month in an effort to make this year’s festivities a bigger and better street party than ever as the village enters the Christmas season.

“In the past we weren’t able to light all the windows at ground level,” said Heather Leary, project and communications manager for the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association that hosts the event.

A new system allows for attaching lights to some of those areas that couldn’t be lit before.

“It should be even brighter,” Leary said.

The month-long frenzy to get lights up and ready, with a little time built in to deal with windstorms that arose, will come to fruition at 5 p.m. Sunday when they’re powered up. Santa will stop by to have a look and visit with the youngsters.

But the fun starts three hours earlier with street food vendors selling everything from New Orleans-style offerings to roasted chestnuts. Family activities include road hockey, wheelchair sports (for everyone) and multiple craft tables. A pair of parade floats, the traditionally large and stunning Galey Farms float and the Canada Post float, will be on hand for up close and personal interaction. Canada Post will gather letters to deliver to Santa.

At 3 p.m. the entertainment starts with the Joy Life Choir, B.C. Fiddle Orchestra, Folkestra and Daniel Lapp all in the lineup.

The 14th annual Christmas Festival Light up gets under way Sunday with festivities starting at 2 p.m. in the village and the countdown at 5 p.m. followed by a visit with Santa and photos with the jolly man himself after that at Athlone Travel.

Visit visitoakbayvillage.ca for updates to festival events leading up to Christmas.

Two of those already set include the Art on the Avenue Gallery walk and Oak Bay Village Christmas Social on Dec. 4 where art galleries and shops open late for an evening of Oak Bay village hospitality.

Then on Dec. 6, the 2014 IEOA Truck Light Convoy and Food Drive shimmers down the Avenue. It’s a big deal in Oak Bay, with side streets closed as residents line the main drag cheering and waving the big rigs through.

“It’s [the truck drivers’] favourite part because it’s a real parade,” Leary said.

The convoy stops to collect food donations dropped off at municipal hall, and the community consistently donates about 1,800 pounds worth of food, said Leary, who would love to see Oak Bay again hit its peak donation – two tonnes. “It’s an important way of giving back.”

Volunteers will collect donations for Mustard Seed food bank from the crowd. Also expect to see a Public Works truck collecting donations across from municipal hall; at the hall, Mustard Seed volunteers will be set up on the lawn to issue receipts for cash offerings.

There will be music and treats too, starting at 5 p.m. Trucks are expected to arrive around 6:30 p.m. in the village.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Victoria immigrant centre’s refugee housing lands in Oak Bay

Partnership project officially announced for World Refugee Day

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Rebirth of downtown cultural festival coming to Victoria in July

Folktoria aims to pick up where Folkfest left off

Plans rejigged for new Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre

Visitors to open house see plans for fitness facility, main pool with movable floor

Two people taken into custody after TD bank robbery

VicPD say an individual left the building with an undisclosed amount of cash

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

POLL: Do you have a family doctor?

“I don’t have a family doctor,” is an all too familiar phrase… Continue reading

GoFundMe page launched for families of missing Vancouver Island fishermen

Search for three men whose vessel capsized near Tofino on June 15 continues.

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

Most Read