posted on November 22, 2012 by Kara Johancsik
Picture this: it’s early December and you’re walking down Government Street in downtown Victoria. The tree-lined street is alight with Christmas lights, and decorations adorn the historic buildings. After perusing the shops (which welcome you into the warmth without offering the crowds and lineups of shopping malls) you turn a corner to see the famous giant sequoia tree in Centennial Square covered with decorations, or perhaps the beautiful lights of the BC Legislature buildings. The best part? You do all of it without slipping on ice or battling severe snowstorms and wind chills!
If you’re planning to spend time in Victoria during Christmas, don’t miss the fabulous events taking place right downtown. Downtown Victoria welcomes visitors and locals to the annual Christmas Tree Light-Up in Centennial Square on November 17th. Head to Centennial Square between 4:00 and 5:45pm to help decorate the giant sequoia tree and to enjoy musical performances, ice sculptures, and free Christmas goodies. Stick around afterwards to watch the Island Farms Santa Light Parade go by. This annual parade kicks off the season with a convoy of lavishly decorated trucks that tour around Victoria.
The Christmas lights display at the BC Legislature buildings has been voted the third best in Canada. Head down to the Legislature buildings from 5 to 6pm on November 27 to watch as they flip the switch and turn on the Christmas lights, then take a free 30-minute guided tour through the grand halls of the buildings. Always a favourite is the Lighted Truck Parade on Dec 1st.
Can’t get enough? Don’t miss the 23rd annual Lighted Ship Parade on December 1st. Come down to the Inner Harbour to watch lighted ships sail by, enjoy free hot chocolate, and peruse the Holiday Night Market for unique gift ideas. Or, hear sleigh bells jingling as you head out on a special Christmas tour with Victoria Carriage Tours between December 20-23rd. Don’t be surprised if you see carolers singing on Government Street as your carriage passes by!