Victoria police are warning motorists to expect “significant” traffic disruptions in downtown Victoria this Saturday for the 41st Peninsula Co-op Santa Claus Parade.
Most road closures will start around 3:30 p.m. and last about four hours, wrapping up around 7:30 p.m., according to VicPD in a news release Wednesday.
The closures include:
- Belleville Street, between Douglas and Menzies streets, will be closed from approximately 3:30 p.m. to approximately 7:30 p.m.
- Menzies Street, between Belleville and Superior streets, will be closed from approximately 3:30 p.m. to approximately 7:30 p.m.
- Government Street, between Humboldt and Superior streets, will be closed from approximately 3:30 p.m. to approximately 7:30 p.m.
- Humboldt Street, between Government and Douglas streets, will be closed from approximately 4:30 p.m. to approximately 7:30 p.m.
- Douglas Street, between Belleville and Bay streets, will be closed from approximately 4:30 p.m. to approximately 7:30 p.m.
Parade organizers told CHEK News Monday that about 60 floats are participating this year, and as many as 70,000 people are expected to attend the event they’re calling the “largest nighttime parade in Canada.”
“And we’re pretty proud of it,” said Kelly Kurta, executive director of the Greater Victoria Festival Society.
During the road closures, vehicle traffic will be unable to cross Douglas Street from Belleville to Bay streets, according to VicPD.
“Significant traffic delays and disruptions are expected to occur in downtown Victoria during the parade, and attendees should plan to arrive early,” it said. “To minimize gridlock, we are encouraging eastbound vehicle traffic to avoid the Johnston Street bridge and travel via the Bay Street bridge instead.”
VicPD says police officers, volunteers and reserve constables will also be present “to help keep everyone attending the event safe.” The department’s community rover will be in the parade alongside VicPD’s team.
Temporary, monitored CCTV cameras will also be used.
“The deployment of these cameras is part of our operations to help keep the event safe, peaceful and family-friendly and is in keeping with both provincial and federal privacy laws,” said VicPD. “Temporary signs are up in the area to ensure that the public is aware. The cameras will be taken down once the events have concluded.”
Check VicPD’s X (Twitter) account for live updates on parade day, including road closures and public safety information.
The parade is scheduled to kick off at 5:20 p.m. on Nov. 25, and those who can’t make it in person can watch it live on CHEK, CHEK+ and CHEK’s YouTube channel with hosts Stacy Ross and Paul Haysom. Ed and Jeff from The Upside will also be there.
Organizers say the last float hits the road just before 6 p.m.
Road closures and temporary CCTV cameras to be deployed for this Saturday’s Peninsula Co-op Santa Lights Parade in downtown #Victoria. Significant traffic disruptions expected.
— Victoria Police (@vicpdcanada) November 22, 2023