WATCH: After almost three decades, Saanich’s famous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display is ending ? unless someone wants to buy it. Tess van Straaten explains.
To say Michelle and Neil Salmond are crazy for Christmas would be a bit of an understatement.
The Saanich couple typically spend about a month decking the halls, decorating ever inch of their property at 4091 Tuxedo Drive.
“I’m really creative and I just like having fun,” says Michelle Salmond. “It’s fun doing things in the yard and seeing people happy.”
There are gigantic inflatables towering above the two-story house, dozens of robotic characters, life-size reindeer flying Santa across the front lawn and even a vintage 1956 fire truck.
“It’s been fun and it’s gotten bigger and bigger and bigger each year,” Neil Salmond explains.
And speaking of big, with inflatables more than 30 feet or 9 metres high, you need a super lifter and Western One Rentals loaned one to the family one this year, like they do every year, so they can get the display done.
It’s hard to believe the now-famous festive display started out rather modestly 28 years ago, after the couple bought a ton of holiday decorations from the Princess Margurite.
“It kind of started from there and we like seeing all the people happy so we started doing it for the community,” Neil Salmond says.
It’s estimated 15,0000 to 25,000 people, some from as far away as the Cowichan Valley, come to see the holiday magic each year.
“We have generations of people,” he says. “We have people where they’ve had their kids and now they’re bringing their grand kids.”
But after almost three decades, this will be the last year for the Tuxedo Drive display. Neil’s had some health issues and the couple can’t keep doing it.
“It’s going to be pretty hard,” says an emotional Michelle Salmond. “We’ve being doing it for so many years ? it’s just become part of what we do.”
The Salmonds are hoping someone will want to buy the entire display, to keep it going.
“We’re forced to try and give someone a great buy on it but they need to take everything,” Neil Salmond says.
It’s their Christmas wish, as the lights go out on this display New Year’s Day.