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Five festive events to check out in Greater Victoria, including a parade

Seasonal magic returns to Greater Victoria with family-friendly festivities
Thousands of people lined Government and Douglas streets to take in the 40th annual Peninsula Co-op Santa Claus Parade despite the cool and rainy weather. (Justin Samanski-Langille/News Staff)

Santa and Mrs. Claus are returning to Victoria on Saturday, Nov. 25 for the 41st Peninsula Co-op Santa Claus Parade.

The parade will start at 5:20 p.m. at Government and Belleville. Moving north along Government, east on Humboldt and North on Douglas, the parade will eventually end at the Victoria Public Market.

The Clauses will be on hand at the Hudson Holiday Market at Douglas and Fisgard for pictures following the parade, along with entertainment and local vendors.

Dec. 1 - Butchart Gardens’ winter lights come alive

At 5 p.m. sharp, thousands of decorative lights spread throughout Butchart Gardens will come alive as the switch is flipped to kick off the winter season.

Admission for the light-up is included with general admission to the gardens, and visitors should reserve their visit time at

Dec. 2 - Christmas shopping at the 42nd Dickens Fair

This James Bay tradition running since the 1980s offers over 50 local makers and a cafe hosted by Bent Mast.

Woodwork, jewellery, fine arts, candles, clothing, food and much more will be available at this winter craft fair, which runs from 10 a.m. til 4 p.m. at the James Bay Community Centre (140 Oswego St.). Admission is $3.

Dec. 9 - A new take on Holiday spirit

The Sips & Sounds Winter Edition festival is the first in a series of 100 per cent local tasting festivals featuring all local producers of wine, beer, spirits and ciders along with local up-and-coming talent.

“Handsome” Santa will be on hand for polaroids, along with experience lounges, $2 samples of alcoholic beverages, DJs, singer-songwriters and performers. Tickets start at $33 on Eventbrite.

Nov. 16 to Jan. 3 - Festival of Trees returns to Bay Centre

The Bay Centre downtown is lit up with 70 one-of-a-kind festively decorated trees in support of oncology research at BC Children’s Hospital.

Festival of Trees is free and open daily during Bay Centre shopping centre hours. The trees can be found on levels 2 and 3.

Visitors can vote by donation for their favourite tree.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Festival of Trees back at the Bay Centre to support BC Children’s Hospital

Butchart Gardens celebrates the holiday season. (Jen Blyth)

Sam Duerksen

About the Author: Sam Duerksen

Since moving to Victoria from Winnipeg in 2020, I’ve worked in communications for non-profits and arts organizations.
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