Two decades after Cadboro Bay Peoples Drug Mart owner Naz Rayani proposed the idea of Christmas carolling in the village, the event is still fulfilling his goal of bringing the community together.
This year’s Carolling in the Village, slated for Sunday Dec. 9 between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., is co-organized by the Cadboro Bay Village Business Improvement Association and the Cadboro Bay Residents’ Association, and combines annual favourites like the village tree light-up and Pepper’s turkey draws.
Louise Rose will lead the Open Door Choir, comprised of family members and friends of Our Place Society, along with students from the Canadian College of Performing Arts.
Hot dogs, hot chocolate, coffee and freshly roasted chestnuts will be served and merchant gift hampers will be in store, while shops remain open late. Santas Anonymous will also be on hand accepting donations of cash and new toys for underprivileged families.
The annual favourite event has come a long way since 1981 when students from Frank Hobbs elementary school sang along to an electric keyboard in the Pepper’s parking lot, and businesses stayed open for the evening.
The light-up has drawn upwards of 1,000 visitors in years past and sees Cadboro Bay Road close for the evening between Sinclair Road and Penrhyn Street to accommodate Santa and the singers.
The block will be closed to vehicle traffic between 5 to 9 p.m., on Dec. 9 and B.C. Transit buses will be temporarily re-routed.