Neil Salmond and his wife Michelle decided to bring back their infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display for one more year to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Neil Salmond and his wife Michelle decided to bring back their infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display for one more year to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Famous Saanich ‘Christmas House’ returns with encore display amid pandemic

Tuxedo Drive Christmas display lit up nightly from 5-11 p.m. until Jan. 1

On New Year’s Day 2018, Neil Salmond shut off the massive Christmas lights display at his home on Tuxedo Drive for the last time – or so he thought.

For nearly 30 years, the Salmond family’s “Christmas House” at 4091 Tuxedo Dr. was a Saanich institution with inflatables towering more than 30 feet in the air, robotic decorations and line-ups of cars down to Quadra Street.

In 2017, after an injury that made it hard to climb the ladder, Salmond decided to create the display for one last holiday season and then it would be lights out in the new year. He sold all the decorations to Merridale Cidery in Cobble Hill and that was it – the end of an era.

However, with the ongoing pandemic, Salmond and his wife decided to deck the halls for one last hurrah to brighten people’s holiday season.

“With COVID times, people need something to look at,” he explained, adding that the display is smaller than it used to be but he hopes it will still bring joy. “We just wanted to make people smile.”

Because they’d sold all their decorations, the Salmonds scrounged for lights, bought new nutcrackers, sought out festive bears and borrowed robotic decor from Galey Farms.

There’s a Santa in a hot air balloon, robotic owls, a bear riding a bike and lights strung high in the trees with the help of a lift courtesy of United Rentals. Many of the decorations were designed by Salmond, his wife Michelle and a friend of his who worked with Disney.

The display used to draw in thousands and Salmond expects the same this year.

Every night from now until Jan. 1, those seeking a dose of holiday joy can cruise by. The lights go on at 5 p.m. and shut off around 11 p.m. Visitors are asked to practice social distancing and follow pandemic guidelines, and Salmond recommends coming by after dark because that’s when the lights really shine.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

ChristmasDistrict of Saanich

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

 

Pedestrians stop to check out the infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display which has returned for an encore to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Pedestrians stop to check out the infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display which has returned for an encore to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Neil Salmond and his wife Michelle decided to bring back their infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display for one more year to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Neil Salmond and his wife Michelle decided to bring back their infamous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display for one more year to bring joy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Just Posted

Penelope the cat showed up safe and sound at her owner’s porch after an unusual trip through the news cycle in recent weeks. (Photo courtesy of Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing)
Penelope, cat and friend of the Victoria HarbourCats, returns home safe

The cat had an after an unusual trip through the news cycle in recent weeks

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushes B.C. government to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

Saanich police detectives are investigating a reported sexual assault that occurred near Glanford Park on the evening of Dec. 29, 2020 and have shared an artist’s rendering of the individual. (Image via Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Saanich police release sketch of suspect sought in December sexual assault

Anyone with information asked to contact detectives, Crime Stoppers

The Compost Education Centre is hosting its annual spring plant sale on May 8 at 1216 North Park St. Physical distancing protocols will be in effect during the sale, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Black Press Media file photo)
This weekend: Tenth annual spring plant sale hosted by Victoria Compost Education Centre

The non-profit event Saturday, May 8 will feature numerous varieties of plants, live music

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
West Shore proud owners of B.C.’s first electric school bus

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

OPINION SIG
SOOKE HISTORY – A woman in business: Caroline Throup

Elida Peers | Contributed Who was it that said “Women in Business”… Continue reading

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read