The Salmond family’s Christmas House at 4091 Tuxedo Dr. has drawn thousands as Saanich residents hunt for pandemic-friendly festivities. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

The Salmond family’s Christmas House at 4091 Tuxedo Dr. has drawn thousands as Saanich residents hunt for pandemic-friendly festivities. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich Christmas House draws thousands per night as residents seek pandemic-friendly festivities

Display lit up 5-11 p.m. until at least New Year’s Day

In the days leading up to Christmas 2020, the streets surrounding Tuxedo Drive have been crowded with festive pedestrians and cars full of passengers taking a look at the famous Saanich Christmas House back for an encore display amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Dec. 19, Neil Salmond and his wife Michelle flipped the switch and set their front yard aglow with string lights, music and festive decorations for the first time in two years.

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

After nearly 30 years, the 2017 holiday season was meant to be the last time the Salmonds set up their well-known Christmas House display at 4091 Tuxedo Dr. On New Year’s Day 2018, Salmond shut off the massive exhibit – which included towering inflatables and robotic decor – for what he thought would be the last time. He sold the decorations to Merridale Cidery in Cobble Hill and prepared for quiet Christmases to come.

However, with the ongoing pandemic, Salmond and Michelle decided to bring back their Christmas House to bring some levity to the 2020 holiday season, and the community’s response was overwhelmingly positive.

READ ALSO: Saanich’s famous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display for sale

“People were real happy we did it again,” Salmond said, noting that he’s counted more than 1,000 spectators every night and that the line-ups have been backed up to Quadra Street – just like in Christmas seasons past.

He made sure to step outside for a nightly socially distanced chat with visitors, and many remembered him by name. There was lots of clapping and big smiles, Salmond said.

Per tradition, his plan is to turn off the lights on New Year’s Day, but depending on the weather, Salmond said he may leave everything up for one more weekend. That way, he can avoid taking the decorations down in the rain and people will get a few more days to take in the display.

READ ALSO: Famous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display will live on at Merridale Cidery in Cobble Hill

Salmond will give back the decorations he borrowed from friends, and the rest will go into storage. While he planned for this to be a one-time-only encore, there could be another opportunity to bring back the Christmas House in the future.

The lights go on at 5 p.m. every night and shut off around 11 p.m. Visitors are asked to practice social distancing and follow pandemic guidelines.


@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

 

The Salmond family’s Christmas House at 4091 Tuxedo Dr. has drawn thousands as Saanich residents hunt for pandemic-friendly festivities. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

The Salmond family’s Christmas House at 4091 Tuxedo Dr. has drawn thousands as Saanich residents hunt for pandemic-friendly festivities. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Just Posted

The purchase of 27 acres in the Millstream Creek watershed by The Land Conservancy and other partners will protect a sensitive ecosystem in the Highlands. (Photo contributed by The Land Conservancy)
Provincial land conservancy lays out $600,000 for Highlands property

Anonymous donor helps buy purchased 11.1 hectares of Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem

Victoria police are warning people of a continued rise in cybercrime. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)
Victoria police warn of rising cybercrime called spear phishing

Fraudsters continue to trick people out of large sums of money

Colin Springford doing what he loved best, tending to his garden. (Linda Matteson photo)
Longtime farmer Colin Springford dies at age 75

‘He will be deeply missed, always loved and never forgotten’

An architectural rendering provides a look at PC Urban’s proposal for three buildings on the former Galaxy Motors property at 1764 Island Hwy. in Colwood. (Rendering courtesy of PC Urban)
Commercial/industrial development planned for former Galaxy Motors site

Colwood proposal goes to public hearing Jan. 25

Scaredy Cats television series has turned Empress Avenue in Fernwood into a Halloween themed neighbourhood. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Trick or treat! Halloween comes to Fernwood in January

New television series Scaredy Cats filming in Victoria

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

The RCMP are reminding drivers to find alternative ways home if they have consumed anything that impairs their ability to drive. (Black Press file photo)
Impaired Island driver flees road check twice on the same night

The officer issued the driver numerous violation tickets, and a four-month driving suspension

(Black Press Media file photo)
From arts to environment, nominate your West Shore hero

Nominations for the Goldstream Gazette’s Local Hero awards are open

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

The objectives of the Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society include peer support for parents and caregivers, as well as developing support services, projects, educational and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. Photo supplied.
Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society offers support for families in the community

New non-profit seeking directors in cities across Vancouver Island

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Most Read