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Lake Cowichan Santa parade cancelled, but Light Up Contest a go

But chamber of commerce keeps festive spirit alive
The popular Santa parade in Lake Cowichan is cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still lots of festive activities in town this year. (File photo)

The annual Lake Cowichan Santa Parade has been cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the events that typically take place at Saywell Park after the parade.

But the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce will be offering an Art & Goodies Kit at the Cowichan Lake Visitor/Business Centre to help the community get into the Christmas spirit this year.

“We are able to offer 100 families in the Cowichan Lake area a DIY easel kit, an art canvas, cookies, candy and more,” according to the chamber’s website.

“We believe this will be a safe activity for families to participate in from the comfort of their homes. Families will be able to pick up their kit during the last week of November, while supplies last.”

The chamber also plans to have a prop Santa, instead of a real one due to social-distancing protocols, on display at the visitor/business centre during the last week of November for kids to have their pictures taken.

Masks will be mandatory, except for children three and under, and there will be hand sanitizer at the door.

The event will also require preregistration so organizers can monitor the number of people attending in advance.

“To register, email with your family names and you will be assigned a time slot,” the website said.

“Please bring your own camera as we will not be taking photos.”

The chamber’s last 2020 Christmas initiative is one of its favourite traditions from years’ past; the Cowichan Lake Light Up.

Every business and household in the Town of Lake Cowichan, or the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s Area F (Honeymoon Bay, Mesachie Lake, Caycuse, Skutz Falls, Paldi), or Area I (Youbou, Meade Creek) are encouraged to decorate their homes.

This year, the chamber is promoting the Artisan Christmas, with prizes given to the households and businesses that it feels create the best work of art with their decorations.

To register for the Light Up Contest, email or phone 250-749-3244.

“We know that COVID-19 may have changed the way we do things this year, but we hope that the message we send out is still the same; support local, support your neighbours, and give back if you can, and keep safe,” the website said.