Esquimalt Lantern Festival Director Eleanor Calder

Magical night to light up Esquimalt

Organizers preparing for Esquimalt Lantern Festival on Sept. 24

When the light in the early evening sky is replaced with the soft glow of hundreds of lanterns, Eleanor Calder expects to feel magic in the air.

“When I see all of the people coming into the park at 6 o’clock, it gives me a great feeling of joy,” said the Esquimalt resident and volunteer co-organizer of the Esquimalt Lantern Festival.

“The goose pimples start coming because they come from all over, they’re streaming in.”

The theme of the event on Sept. 24 is magic – fitting since the spectacle has grown into a truly magical affair since it was revived after a four-year hiatus three years ago. Last year, about 1,500 people attended the free spectacle.

“We’re getting to the point where most of the community is coming,” Calder said.

Given the number of entertainers scheduled to perform this year, attendance may swell even more, said Calder, one of four volunteer directors with the Esquimalt Lantern Festival Society, who are assisted by 30 to 50 volunteers.

The festival begins in Captain Jacobson Park near Head and Paradise streets at 6 p.m. with performers Preston McCool, Bashirah Middle Eastern Dance Troupe and the Esquimalt High Jazz Band.

There will be a children’s area, face painting and storytelling.

The rhythm and blues of the Scotty Hills Trio will signal the beginning of the light parade, which will dazzle as participants move along the Westbay Walkway.

Along the way Luminara Victoria’s people puppets, Samba du Soleil, the Harmony Belly Dancers and a boat lantern parade will entertain.

Upon arrival at Barnard Park, located at 300 Barnard Ave., the festivities continue with fire dancing by Fyre and Lyte and music by Weak Patrol.

Though it’s hoped the event will one day be financially self-sustaining through fundraising, organizers appreciate the $1,000 granted by the Capital Regional District and $4,000 from the Township of Esquimalt, some of which is offsetting the cost of the stage and park rental, as well as for performers.

“We would hope one day that we could be self-sufficient, but it’s working so well now,” Calder said.”

To add to the magical feel, everyone is invited to wear a costume and bring a lantern, though it is not recommended that pets come. Glow sticks and refreshments will be available for purchase.

For details, please visit esquimaltlanternfestival.wordpress.com.

emccracken@vicnews.com

Just Posted

New festival celebrating Croatian culture to be held in Victoria

CROfest will be held May 4 and 5 at Croatian Catholic Church of St. Leopold Mandíc

High of 14 C for Wednesday

Plus your weekend forecast

Tryouts underway for Oak Bay High golf team

Cool April weather brings a chilly start for school team

Junior Shamrocks’ season openers this weekend

Ter 1 B squad plays Saturday at home while Junior A is off to Maple Ridge for a road game on Sunday

WATCH: Police call Happy Valley shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

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

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

‘Cutthroat’ sport of wine tasting happening in B.C.

BC Tasting Games are underway with competitions in three Okanagan communities.

Early data suggests no post-legalization spike in drug-impaired driving charges

Many police departments are prioritizing investigations related to drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

Most Read