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

Lost dog reunited with family three months after going missing along Juan de Fuca trail

‘The poor thing was skin and bones,’ says one of the Sooke rescuers

Victoria family donates 878 falafel wraps to support Beirut blast victims

Wrap and Roll pulls in $20,500 during weekend fundraiser

Reimagined campaign continues to make Vancouver Island wishes come true

#UnWinedOutside allows participants to support Make-A-Wish Foundation, local businesses

Police investigating string of break-ins at closed Saanich care home

Electronics, tools reported stolen from Mount Tolmie Hospital

Battle of Fairy Creek: blockade launched to save Vancouver Island old-growth

‘Forest Defenders’ occupy road to prevent logging company from reaching Port Renfrew-area watershed

B.C. records 30-50 new COVID-19 cases a day over weekend, no new deaths

Many of those testing positive were identified by contact tracing for being linked to other confirmed infections

Five B.C. First Nations call out Canada for ‘discriminatory’ food fish practices

West Coast nations say government ignoring court-won right to chinook and coho

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Nanaimo woman will buy ‘supersonic’ hair dryer after $500,000 lotto win

Debra Allen won $500,000 in July 28 Lotto Max draw

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

Cougar euthanized after attacking little dog in Qualicum area

Owner freed pet by whacking big cat, but dog didn’t survive the attack

$45K in donations received after couple’s sudden death in Tulameen

Sarah MacDermid, 31, and Casey Bussiere, 37, died August long weekend

Famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer brings movements of joy to Long Beach

Internet-famous dancer is exploring Vancouver Island, visiting the B.C. Legislature and more

Most Read