Santa will likely make an appearance at this weekend’s Sidney Sparkes Parade. (File)

Sidney Sparkles Parade on Sunday

Annual parade part of busy weekend of seasonal activies on the Saanich Peninsula

The season turns bright in Sidney this Sunday, as the main street will be filled with twinkling lights, music and more for the annual Sidney Sparkles Christmas Parade.

A collection of vehicles, floats, scooters and walkers will be draped in lights for the annual parade, hosted by the Peninsula Celebrations Society. It’s a free event, running down Beacon Avenue — and it’s popular, so anyone wishing to get a good look at the parade entries should arrive early for the best spots along the parade route.

The parade participants line up a block away on Resthaven Drive and march out onto Beacon Avenue, starting at 5 p.m. on Sun., Dec. 3. The procession of sparkling floats and trucks and more, continues to Second Street, turning right, and ending at Ocean Avenue.

Once the last parade entry has made the turn, people can make their way down to the Sidney waterfront area for part two of the evening’s festivities: the Lighted Sail Past.

Various vessels of different sizes will be moored at the Port Sidney Marina during the day and will light up at around dusk. People can visit the marina and see the boats and their Christmas lights and decorations. And, should the weather cooperate, the vessels will sail out onto the Salish Sea and move past Sidney’s waterfront walkway.

It takes place approximately 15 minutes after the Sidney Sparkles Parade has ended.

The events are part of a weekend of seasonal activities throughout the Saanich Peninsula.

The Peninsula Celebrations Society hosts its annual Breakfast with Santa on Sat., Dec. 2, starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Mary Winspear Centre. The Sidney Lions Club will be cooking up breakfast (at a cost of $7 per adult and $5 for children under 12) and Santa is expected to arrive for a visit at around 9 a.m. Photos with Santa are by-donation. There will also be face painting for the kids.

Saanichton’s Community Christmas activities take place Sat., Dec. 2 form 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There’s a Lions Club pancake breakfast and photos with Santa — a by-donation event with proceeds to the Sidney Lions Food Bank.

Local businesses will take part in a Christmas Tree Trail for kids and families. There will be carriage rides from Tally-Ho and gingerbread decorating at the Pioneer Museum. Find out more at saanichtonvillage.ca.

The Sidney Business Improvement Area Society puts on the Christmas in Sidney activities Sat., Dec. 2.

The event includes an all-day gingerbread house scavenger hunt in downtown businesses. People can find 12 gingerbread houses to be able to enter a contest and win prizes.

The SBIA is also co-ordinating Win a Little Magic — a scratch and win promotion with local businesses between Dec. 2 and 23. And that evening from 5 to 8:30 p.m. it’s the annual Sidney Merchants Open House.

On Sun., Dec. 3, the SBIA Christmas in Sidney event continues with carolers along Beacon Avenue and horse-drawn carriage rides from Victoria Carriage Tours.

Both continue in Sidney until Dec. 23.

For more details, visit distinctlysidney.ca.

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