The Pride of Esquimalt float sits waiting to make its way along the Celebration of Lights parade route last year. The parade, which winds up at the Esquimalt Plaza, continues to bring the community together in a big way, organizers say. Photo by Meagan Brame

Esquimalt’s Celebration of Lights a night for the community

Free, fun family event brings together people from various walks of life in Esquimalt

To say the Esquimalt Celebration of Lights is a community event is a major understatement.

This kickoff to the Christmas season, which celebrates its 12th year with the parade followed by the public gathering at Esquimalt Plaza this Sunday (Dec. 3), continues to broaden its reach, says committee member and Esquimalt Coun. Meagan Brame.

“It’s free, it’s family friendly, it gets people so in the mood and it’s just such a celebration and a happy event. Everybody loves Christmas lights,” she says.

The Celebration is about more than just flipping the switch and illuminating the town with colourful lights. It’s about bringing together disparate parts of the community for a mutual fun time. “The partnerships that have grown out of Celebration of Lights have been amazing,” Brame says.

Volunteers for this event are enthusiastic and come from all walks of life, she adds, from the Esquimalt High leadership students to the members of the Songhees Nation who last year built a “longboat” for Santa Claus to ride in, with Songhees youth paddling him in to the plaza.

Local recording artist and jazz songstress Maureen Washington and her band are providing the entertainment this year, and will be accompanied for some of the traditional Christmas tunes by students from Rockheights middle school.

Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items for donation to the Rainbow Kitchen on Lyall Street, which provides free meals for people in need.

Merchants are on board big time for the event as well. Country Grocer provides the oranges and candy canes handed out on the night, and helps out the Esquimalt Lions with ingredients for the free hot dogs their volunteers cook up.

The parade and Christmas season kickoff was the vision of legendary Esquimalt resident and community booster Dino Fiorin, who passed away last year.

“[Because of that] it is even closer to our hearts as we go forward,” Brame says.

As a way to extend the atmosphere generated with the Celebration of Lights, the Township plans to produce a Christmas lights map featuring homes and other buildings lit up for the season, Brame says.

“Every year it gets stronger and fingers crossed, it doesn’t rain that night,” she says.

The parade starts at 5 p.m. sharp Dec. 3 from Canteen Road and travels along Esquimalt Road. The event runs until 7 p.m. For more information, visit esquimaltlights.ca.

editor@vicnews.com

Christmas

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A trio of penguins gather for a photo before assembling for the Esquimalt Celebration of Lights parade. The parade, which winds up at the Esquimalt Plaza, continues to bring the community together in a big way, organizers say. Photo by Meagan Brame

Just Posted

Felix Townsin, shown here with his sister, Lexi, who died on Oct. 19, 2019. Felix is a big part of a family initiative aimed at finding a cure for Blau Syndrome. (Photo contributed by the Townsin family)
Quest to cure Blau syndrome a family affair

John Stubbs student produces film for late little sister Lexi

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Newly public Emily Carr painting depicts well-known Victoria view

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Soccer player Ethan Finnigan juggles the ball at Oak Bay High. The Grade 12 student was injured much of last year and was relying on his senior year to score a scholarship and play at university. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
High school athletes remain on sidelines across B.C.

Recruiting for university on hiatus, future unknown

A byelection will be held in Victoria on Dec. 12. (Black Press Media file photo)
Nomination period for Victoria’s byelection now open

Prospective candidates have until Nov. 6 to get papers in

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 27

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Search and Rescue save dog from icy Cowichan River

Search and Rescue’s swiftwater team was called in

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Most Read