Get ready for holiday cheer.
Presented by CHEK, the 40th Peninsula CO-OP Santa Claus Parade returns to Victoria this Saturday, Nov. 26, with a brand new route set to illuminate downtown and kick off the festive season.
The parade, a popular tradition for B.C.’s capital, airs live on CHEK+, Facebook, and YouTube starting at 5:20 p.m., as hosts Stacy Ross and Joe Perkins provide a front-row seat to those who can’t make it in person.
“We’re extremely excited. It’s a decent-sized parade, it’s big. We’re back to about 65 entries, which is exciting,” Kelly Kurta, executive director of the Greater Victoria Festival Society, told CHEK News.
“I think the atmospheric river scared off a few people last year, but you know, it’s going to be typical Santa Claus Parade weather (this year). We’re westcoasters, so dress warm, bring coffee,” Kurta said with a laugh.
The parade will kick off at Government and Belleville streets, as floats head north up Government Street, right onto Humboldt Street, and left onto Douglas Street, before stopping at Fisgard Street.
Staff from Galey Farms, a locally-owned and operated farm in Saanich, will be among the around 1,500 people participating in the parade this year, Kurta says.
“It’s that time of year that we all enjoy. We’ve worked very hard to give back to the community, and float building is one of the things that we do,” said Rob Galey of Galey Farms.
Of course, the big man in red will be in attendance, waving to the more than 50,000 parade-goers expected to attend, according to Kurta.
“The Santa Claus float is bigger than ever this year,” she said.
“I mean, the amount of time and dedication that businesses and their staff [put in is incredible]. They volunteer their time to put these floats together. We’ve got some beautiful floats in the parade.”
The Hudson Holiday Plaza is also happening this weekend, Nov. 26-27, from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, inside the Victoria Public Market at 1701 Douglas St.
“Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there after the parade, and you can do pictures by donation. There will be hot chocolate, and vendors will be there,” Kurta explained. “It’s a small, little get-together after the parade.”
Victoria Police is warning of Saturday road closures, as roads around the B.C. Legislature and Inner Harbour, including Government Street from Superior to Humbolt streets; Belleville Street from Menzies to Douglas streets; and Menzies Street from Superior to Belleville streets, will be closed Saturday from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“It’s going to be congested,” warned Kurta.
Meanwhile, Humbolt Street between Government and Douglas streets, as well as Douglas Street from Humbolt to Bay streets, will be closed during the parade, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and traffic will not be allowed to cross Douglas Street during this time, according to VicPD.
CCTV cameras will also be deployed throughout the area, police say, noting the Johnson Street Bridge, Esquimalt Road at Tyee Road, and Esquimalt Road at Harbour Road will also be closed between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
A map of this year’s parade is below: