This weekend, Santa can be spotted in a downtown Nanaimo neighbourhood, bringing with him holiday cheer for Christmas on the Crescent.
Dave Lawrence, president of the Victoria Crescent Association, said the group has been planning the holiday block party for several months and is excited to once again bring the community together.
“We’ve never done something this big for Christmas before,” he said.
Seven businesses plan to take part, with some offering special discounts on the day.
Lawrence said there will be plenty of classic holiday tunes to “get in the spirit,” and a possible DJ guest appearance. Free hot chocolate will be provided to attendees, as well as vendor and artisan booths to peruse.
The jolly old elf will make his rounds and be photo-ready for those on his ‘nice’ list.
The association is looking to continue its annual tradition, having held the block party for seven straight years before the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawrence said that hopefully the Christmas kick-off will also bring foot traffic back to the neighbourhood.
“We’re trying to get everyone to come out … and talk about their businesses … and check out what’s going on here because it’s starting to be really cool,” he said. “It really feels like this is the start of something interesting, and that there’s talk of doing bigger events and shutting down the street in the future … I feel like the energy is there … It’s been great to have some younger business owners come to the neighbourhood and bring that energy.”
The president of the association said he would like for the neighbourhood to be seen as a shopping district distinct from the shopping centres and box stores in other parts of the city, and he thinks the crescent is headed in the right direction.
“It’s good to see families shopping down here,” he said.
Christmas on the Crescent will be held Saturday, Dec. 3, at the Victoria Crescent square on the corner of Albert and Wallace streets and Victoria Crescent, running from 1-5 p.m.