A digital rendering shows what the Lights of Wonder holiday light village will look like (File contributed/DVBA)

Massive holiday light village coming to downtown Victoria

The Downtown Victoria Business Association’s ‘Lights of Wonder’ festival begins Dec. 13

Downtown Victoria’s Centennial Square will soon be transformed into a valley of lights after the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) made its largest investment to date.

The Lights of Wonder festival will see the square transformed into a holiday light village, featuring illuminated forests and features, a 40-foot tree, live entertainment including carolers and performers, as well as vendor stands full of hot chocolate, pretzels, bratwurst and more.

The Lights of Wonder will also include a small beer garden, where refreshing drinks or mulled cider can also be purchased.

ALSO READ: Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says online rumours of banning holiday lights are false

The ambitious endeavor will cost the DVBA $500,000 over the next five years, a cost which DVBA executive director Jeff Bray says in on par with it’s annual holiday budget of around $130,000. The funding comes from a portion of taxes from downtown businesses paid directly to the DVBA, and not from the City of Victoria.

“The difference is this time we own everything,” Bray said. “The skating rink was $130,000 and all we did was lease it. The ferris wheel was $100,000 and all we did was rent it… with this, we can augment it every year and add different features and elements; this will be something no one has seen before.”

While former holiday features like the rink and the ferris wheel were popular, Bray added that the new Lights of Wonder will add an element of inclusion for everyone.

“We wanted to have a zero-barrier event so everyone could come and enjoy it, and also enjoy the rest of downtown,” Bray said, referring both to physical barriers as well as financial barriers, as the Lights of Wonder will be free to access.

ALSO READ: Downtown Victoria Business Association believes in the value of Christmas lights

The display elements are being put together by Vancouver-based Shine Lighting, which has also designed the Enchant Seattle Festival, which saw 300,000 attendees in 2018 (even with a $20 entry fee) and the Bright Lights Windsor Festival which saw 100,000 attendees.

“For us, we saw this was a way to really invite the whole region and really the whole Island downtown, and then spend the evening in our shops and restaurants,” Bray said.

The Lights of Wonder will begin to be assembled at the end of November, and will be open to the public from Dec. 13 to 30. The festival will run from 4 to 9 p.m. weekdays, and from 4 to 11 p.m. on weekends.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook Send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

ChristmasChristmas holidayCity of VictoriaFestivalHolidays

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

 

Jeff Bray, executive director of the Downtown Victoria Business Association, stands in front of some early renderings of what the Lights Of Wonder holiday light village will look like (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Just Posted

Victoria woman to sell masks on wheels after garage stand shut down

Mama’s Masks stand accompanied Moss Street Market

Greater Victoria non-profit advocates for the use of psilocybin for terminal patients

North Saanich psychotherapist pushes for alternative treatment

Gathering marks 10 years since nearly 500 asylum-seekers landed off Victoria shore

The 492 people fleeing violence, war crimes and genocide in Sri Lanka were detained for months

One person in custody after hours-long Cook Street standoff with barricaded robbery suspects

Victoria police say 2300-block of Cook Street has reopened to drivers

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Captive fawn seized from Island home

Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 11

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

Most Read