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Holiday Highlights

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We not enjoy many white Christmases here in Victoria, but we still know how to celebrate the season in style.

The holiday season comes early to the Oak Bay Beach Hotel’s David Foster Foundation Dinner Theatre, where It’s Christmas entertains on most weekends November 9 through and December 24.

Family fun starts with the Island Farms Santa’s Light Parade, downtown November 22, and continues in neighbouring Oak Bay November 30, when the annual Oak Bay Light-up heralds the start of the Oak Bay Christmas Festival with live music, lighted trucks, roasted chestnuts, a visit from Santa and the show-stopping light-up at 5pm. Watch for the parade of trucks winding its way through the Capital Region Dec. 6, thrilling young and old alike while collecting food donations for local families.

For many it’s not Christmas until Canadian storyteller extraordinaire Stuart McLean comes to town with stories of Dave, Morley and the rest of the Vinyl Café gang. McLean offers two shows this year, November 27 and 28.

The world-famous Butchart Gardens casts a holiday glow around the winter flower beds with its annual holiday light-up, December 1 to January 6. While enjoying the entertainment and browsing the breathtaking gardens, keep an eye out for the special 12 Days of Christmas displays, and don’t miss the chance to take a spin around the outdoor ice skating rink! Nearby, Victoria Butterfly Gardens shines with a holiday glow beginning December 1 offering a sensational seasonal backdrop to this delightful garden.

A highlight of the season for many is a visit to the magnificent Craigdarroch Castle, decked out it its holiday finery throughout December. As a special treat, on select nights through December the castle also hosts A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted as a one-man play by Jason Stevens.

Dance Victoria’s presentation of the treasured holiday classic The Nutcracker, featuring Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, will be a must on the calendar of both locals and visitors alike Dec. 5 to 7, while the Victoria Symphony offers seasonal music for all tastes, including A Sentimental Christmas Carol, December 12 to 14, and the traditional sounds of Handel’s Messiah December 19 and 21.

The season continues past Christmas Day with Ballet Victoria’s The Gift, December 27 to 29. A wonderful Christmas story told to the beloved music of The Nutcracker, young Pandora cannot wait to open a mysterious present from her uncle’s travels. A celebration full of holiday cheer for the whole family!


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