A digital rendering shows what the Lights of Wonder holiday light village will look like (File contributed/DVBA)

Massive holiday light village coming to downtown Victoria

The Downtown Victoria Business Association’s ‘Lights of Wonder’ festival begins Dec. 13

Downtown Victoria’s Centennial Square will soon be transformed into a valley of lights after the Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) made its largest investment to date.

The Lights of Wonder festival will see the square transformed into a holiday light village, featuring illuminated forests and features, a 40-foot tree, live entertainment including carolers and performers, as well as vendor stands full of hot chocolate, pretzels, bratwurst and more.

The Lights of Wonder will also include a small beer garden, where refreshing drinks or mulled cider can also be purchased.

ALSO READ: Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says online rumours of banning holiday lights are false

The ambitious endeavor will cost the DVBA $500,000 over the next five years, a cost which DVBA executive director Jeff Bray says in on par with it’s annual holiday budget of around $130,000. The funding comes from a portion of taxes from downtown businesses paid directly to the DVBA, and not from the City of Victoria.

“The difference is this time we own everything,” Bray said. “The skating rink was $130,000 and all we did was lease it. The ferris wheel was $100,000 and all we did was rent it… with this, we can augment it every year and add different features and elements; this will be something no one has seen before.”

While former holiday features like the rink and the ferris wheel were popular, Bray added that the new Lights of Wonder will add an element of inclusion for everyone.

“We wanted to have a zero-barrier event so everyone could come and enjoy it, and also enjoy the rest of downtown,” Bray said, referring both to physical barriers as well as financial barriers, as the Lights of Wonder will be free to access.

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

The display elements are being put together by Vancouver-based Shine Lighting, which has also designed the Enchant Seattle Festival, which saw 300,000 attendees in 2018 (even with a $20 entry fee) and the Bright Lights Windsor Festival which saw 100,000 attendees.

“For us, we saw this was a way to really invite the whole region and really the whole Island downtown, and then spend the evening in our shops and restaurants,” Bray said.

The Lights of Wonder will begin to be assembled at the end of November, and will be open to the public from Dec. 13 to 30. The festival will run from 4 to 9 p.m. weekdays, and from 4 to 11 p.m. on weekends.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook Send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

 

Early ideas of some of the elements which could be incorporated in the upcoming Lights of Wonder holiday light village. (File contributed/ DVBA)

Just Posted

Increase in raccoon roadkill on Highway 17

Shorter days, darker commutes could be contributing factors

B.C. mayors want forestry powers shifted to communities

Vancouver Island push adopted by the Union of B.C. Municipalities

Victoria woman one step closer to opening region’s first cat cafe

Ashley Deiter’s Kickstarter page surpassed its goal, making the Mask and Mantle Cafe a possibility

Burning Thanksgiving question: Turkey or ham?

PQB notables also talk best side dishes

Green leader criticized for push to scrap temporary foreign worker program

Elizabeth May wants to scrap federal program which supplies local business with temporary workers

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Island record show will indulge the audiophile lifestyle

Organizers expect dealers to bring about 20,000 records to Comox Valley event

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

Most Read