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Light-up, parade launch the season

Nov 15 2012
The float carrying Santa Claus takes to the streets in the annual Island Farms Santa Light Parade through downtown last year. 

The float carrying Santa Claus takes to the streets in the annual Island Farms Santa Light Parade through downtown last year.

Photograph by: Adrian Lam, Times Colonist , Times Colonist

Nothing kicks off the holiday season like lighting the Christmas tree - unless it's a parade led by Santa.

Victorians can have both on Saturday.

Everyone is invited to be on hand for the fifth annual Christmas Tree Light-Up in Centennial Square, followed by the Island Farms Santa Light Parade.

Enjoy music, roving entertainment, ice sculptures and free treats at the light-up, Victoria's unofficial kick-off to the Christmas season. The event is sponsored by the City of Victoria and the Downtown Victoria Business Association.

From there, celebrants can walk a few paces to catch the Island Farms Santa Light Parade as it moves along Government Street. Expect to see bands, floats and, of course, Santa himself.

Admission is free to both events. The Christmas Tree Light-Up is between 4 and 5: 45 p.m. at Centennial Square.

The Island Farms Santa Light Parade is from 5: 45 to 7 p.m. It runs along Government, from Belleville to Store streets.

If you can't make it to either event, you can still catch the spirit by visiting the lights and animation display in Centennial Square until early January.

The back wall of the McPherson Playhouse is the setting for the huge interactive animation display.

Use your smartphone to interact with the display. At the other end, a tree with lights moves and changes, with sounds.

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