Oak Bay village kicks off Christmas with family fun Nov. 26.
Crafts, family activities, street games and and live music set the stage for the holiday Sunday afternoon starting at 2 p.m.
“More and more we are finding people want to participate in events. They don’t want to just come and observe,” says Martin Cownden, president of the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association that hosts the festivities. “With more young families in the area we are continuing to add activities that families can enjoy together. We want the entire community to enjoy this kick off to the season.”
— OakBayFire (@OakBayFireDept) November 17, 2017
For the 17th annual light up, craft stations, games and activities fill Oak Bay Avenue alongside a variety of street food including the longstanding tradition of roasted chestnuts outside Ottavio Italian Bakery. Paul Kilshaw, in another lengthy tradition, will add magic and balloon twisting to the affair while Theatre SKAM returns sharing much-loved Christmas stories in their Pop Up Theatre.
Live music this year features tunes written and sung by Canadian performers – Peter Dowse, Danuel Tate, Michael Wilford, Oliver Swain and Daniel Lapp – in celebration of Canada 150. Victoria’s newest country folk quartet, The Getaway Band will also perform and the Joy of Life Choir leads the crowd in singing favourite Christmas songs.
Longtime master of ceremonies Bill Murphy-Dyson leads his high energy rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas ahead of the big light up countdown.
“The countdown, the activity and the excitement, and then click the lights go on. You don’t want to miss it,” Cownden says. “The moment feels exhilarating. It’s like a star that just appeared in the sky. It’s fantastic.”
Once the lights go on, Santa Claus arrives on an Oak Bay fire truck. He plans to hang around for photos with donations toward the fire department’s’ purchase of nonessential equipment.