Holiday events return to Vancouver Island after last year's pandemic cancellations
The festive season is in full swing on Vancouver Island, after many holiday events were cancelled last year.
On Thursday night, the Town of Ladysmith illuminated its downtown strip with thousands of colorful lights. Christmas decorations are on full display at many island homes, and the festivities continued on Friday night in Oak Bay with the Sea of Lights Lighted Ship Parade.
Eleven decorated vessels sailed past Cattle Point, Willows Beach and Gyro Park before returning to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.
“Everybody’s really happy about it because we’re outside, we’re safe and we’re comfortable, and it gives us an opportunity to help the community and give others in the community an outing, when there haven’t been many lately,” said Sea of Lights event coordinator Andrew McBride.
On Saturday evening, the largest and longest winter parade on the island is set to roll out from Ogden Point at 5:45 p.m., with a convoy of 80 commercial vehicles making its way to the West Shore.
“We go through Oak Bay, downtown, past the hospital into Colwood and Langford and we end up at West Shore Speedway,” said Always Towing co-owner Cheryl Parker.
Always Towing has sponsored the Island Equipment Owners Association Truck Light Convoy for several years now. It’s a special event for the family behind the business.
"My father, we lost him 9 years ago, but my dad’s last ride was in the passenger seat in the convoy,” said Parker.
“So for me, the joy is doing this in honour of my father as well as helping out people at this time of year and the smiles on people’s faces"
The truck light convoy is also a fundraiser for several South Island food banks. Donations can be made on the IEOA website, which also includes a live parade route tracking feature.
"There’s so many places for people to park and watch instead of having to be in a whole group," Parker said.