For 27 years, Neil Salmond has decorated his 4091 Tuxedo Dr. house, yard and driveway with the city’s most elaborate display of lights, ornaments and decorations. The lights are on from 5:30 p.m. to midnight through the holidays.                                Travis Paterson/News Staff

For 27 years, Neil Salmond has decorated his 4091 Tuxedo Dr. house, yard and driveway with the city’s most elaborate display of lights, ornaments and decorations. The lights are on from 5:30 p.m. to midnight through the holidays. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Saanich’s famous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display for sale

Last year for famous Tuxedo Drive Christmas display, unless you want to buy it

On New Year’s Day, when Neil and Michelle Salmond turn off the power for their hugely popular Tuxedo Christmas lights display, it will be for the last time.

The famous light and decoration setup, with inflatables over 30 feet high, has been a Saanich institution for 28 years. It starts again on Friday (Dec. 8), and will run nightly from 5:30 to 11 p.m. through Jan. 1 at 4091 Tuxedo Dr.

Then it’s lights out.

“It’s going to be our last year, this has been a pretty big thing for us,” said Neil Salmond. “I’ve had a few injuries, an MCL tear this year, and I can’t go up the ladder anymore.”

The display features hundreds of props, a 1956 firetruck, a series of 25-foot inflatables, animatronic animals, and boasts many recognizable characters from Christmas and pop culture in general.

For fans who make the annual trek to Tuxedo, coming from as far as the Cowichan Valley, there is hope the display will continue. The Salmonds hope to move the collection on to a taker, and are open to offers.

It’s hard to put a price on the collection, but Salmond said it doesn’t matter, it’s going to be a good deal.

The pack of reindeer flying across the Salmonds’ front yard came to them used, but cost $22,000 at one point. The bigger inflatables (about 25 feet tall) all cost well into the thousands, and there’s several of them – an elf, snowman, nutcracker, candle, etc.

“It’s too much to figure out,” Salmond said. “We’re not trying to get a ton of money for it. We would like to move it, we have so much we can’t even put it all up.”

This week Western One rentals lent a 45-foot power lift to aid the Salmonds in their set up, as they do every year.

“We’re very thankful to Western One, and to all the community,” Salmond said. “It’s been fun, some people have been coming by so long, a third generation of children are coming now. We’ve been glad to do it for the community.”

It started when the Salmond children were young. Neil has been involved in stage sets and had the rights to distribute giant inflatables for the South Island, which led him to acquire inflatable Christmas characters for the display. Salmond calls Michelle the creative source in all of it.

“I have a corny sense of humour, so does my wife, it will be sad for us,” Salmond said. “We’re energized [to do it once more] but sad at the same time, [years of] nice thoughts and people dropping cards and gifts off has been quite nice.”

The collection fills both the Salmonds’ garage and part of his company warehouse.

Through the years there’s been some ups and downs. Oak branches have fallen on the display, while big windstorms have also made a mess of it. It’s hard to estimate but Salmond figures 15,000 to 25,000 people come by annually to see the display.

“I don’t actually count the visitors but it’s two weeks solid of tires rolling by,” Salmond said.

“I feel so sad about the whole thing. Everyone says I’ve been saying this for years, that it would be the last year and no one believed me, but this is the last year.”

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Saanich Fire Department is responding to a structure fire in the 3300-block of Quadra Street on May 18. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Smoking pot on stove ignites Saanich fire call on Quadra Street

Traffic impacted in northbound lanes of 3300-block shortly after 11 a.m.

Local cyclist Max McCulloch catches air off a jump in the newly redesigned Organ Donor trail at Mount Work mountain biking park. The Capital Regional District approved its regional parks mountain biking guidelines and a list of short-term actions at the CRD board’s May 12 meeting. (Black Press Media File Photo)
CRD approves mountain biking guidelines that drove spoke between advocates, environmentalists

Guidelines aim to find new biking opportunites in region, while protecting park ecology

Howard English Hatchery volunteer Joscilyn Jupp poured one of many buckets of salmon fry into Douglas Creek on May 11, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
35,000 salmon fry released in Saanich park during closed event

Chum from Goldstream Hatchery trucked in to restore Douglas Creek salmon spawning

The Victoria Police Department is seeking information on an assault that occurred in downtown Victoria on May 10. (Black Press Media file photo)
Police investigating downtown Victoria assault on youth

Witness also attacked after trying to intervene

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen of Abbotsford has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

Derek Descoteau with his trusty dog Harvey. (Photo submitted)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved senseless B.C. murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

The Nanaimo Timbermen and Victoria Shamrocks compete in Western Lacrosse Association action in Nanaimo during the 2019 season. (News Bulletin file photo)
WLA cancels another senior A lacrosse season due to COVID-19

Western Lacrosse Association, Major Series Lacrosse announce cancellation of Mann Cup

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Most Read