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

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

Victoria Guard Commander leads group of snowmen after ceremony cancelled

Lt.-Cmdr. Michael Irwin wasn’t going to let a bit of snow strip him of his duties

Number of adults living with parents has doubled since 1995

9 per cent of the adult population living with one or more parent

Spring cleaning starts Sunday in Oak Bay

Donations are open for the Monterey Recreation Centre’s annual annual rummage sale

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read