Greater Victoria Festival Society’s Light Up The City contest is back for a second year, encouraging the region’s homeowners, apartment residents, businesses and First Nations to show off the best of their holiday spirit.
Created when the society’s holiday parade was not able to be held due to public health restrictions, the contest was a way to keep the holiday spirit alive. Now, society executive director Kelly Kurta said the event is rapidly evolving into something much larger.
“Last year was incredible,” said Kurta. “It was a great, easy way to bring in the Christmas spirit, and at the same time … collaborate with [non-profits] and share our resources. That’s what this whole thing is about.”
This year, donations of toys, non-perishable food and cash can be dropped off at the Bay Centre and, as of Dec. 10, at Galey Farms, in support of several local charities, including the Sidney Food Bank and Rainbow Kitchen. More donation drop-off points could pop up during the contest though, as Kurta said they continue to search for businesses willing to support the event.
Kurta said the event is already set to be held annually alongside the Santa Lights Parade and will eventually be extended to several weeks. But despite only being in the second year of the event, the organizers are setting their sights on even loftier goals.
“The dream is to challenge other cities … and eventually have a Christmas lighting competition right across the country where we donate for two or three months.”
In terms of the competition itself, there are five categories for entries: homes; apartments and condos; local businesses; community organizations; and First Nations communities.
Participants are encouraged to decorate their buildings, photograph their handy work and submit it on the Victoria News website. Each entry will be voted on by the community, and the top three entrants in each category will win prizes from sponsors including Helijet International and Peninsula Co-op.
Those looking to check out all the decorations across the region are in luck as well. Our website also includes a map of all participating locations, making it easy to spend an evening taking in the sights. If going for a drive or walk won’t work for you, our site also has submitted photos in a gallery for virtual viewing.
Entrees are open until Dec. 17 and online voting is open until Dec. 19. Businesses and other organizations interested in sponsoring the contest or offering up a drop-off location for donations are asked to contact Kurta at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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