This year we were fortunate to have time off together to enjoy two of the biggest holiday events of the year. Instead of the usual driving tour around town to see various home owners efforts at holiday decorating, we packed up our folding chairs, blankets and a thermos of hot chocolate and let the Christmas lights come to us!
The 23rd Annual Ladysmith Light-Up, (properly known as the Ladysmith Festival of Lights) is usually held the last week of November but this year it was delayed by a week due to a heavy snowfall. This event is becoming so popular that people come from as far away as the interior of BC and even Seattle. An estimated 20,000 visitors converge on the sleepy little town of 7500 to witness Santa throw the switch on over 200,000 Christmas lights that light-up the buildings and the main street through town. Followed by one of the biggest parades on Vancouver Island and then one of the best fireworks displays of the year, it makes for a wonderful start to the holiday season.
The 12th Annual Victoria Lighted Truck Parade (properly called the Island Equipment Operators Association (IEOA) Truck Parade) is a true spectacle like no other. Usually held the first week of December this event puts you curbside to watch in awe as 80 decorated trucks of various sizes roll along in a convoy 10 blocks long! The “parade” lasts several hours as the convoy follows a pre-determined route through several municipalities in the Greater Victoria area.
The 21st Annual Victoria Lighted Ship Parade begins as soon as the truck convoy has passed through downtown Victoria. This year 18 boats, mostly sailboats, cruised around the inner harbour for spectators along the shoreline as cheers and Christmas wishes were shouted back and forth across the water.
Mark the US Thanksgiving on your 2011 Calendar as that is when the fun begins in Ladysmith next year, then Victoria a week later. Plan to attend… you will be glad you did!!!