Peter and Connie's Lifestyle Journey travel blog

Nanaimo Harbour

Ladysmith history in pictures

First Ave during the day

First Ave after the lights went on

The Tree before and after light up

This is where Santa parked

Cement Truck in Parade

Close-up view of the fireworks!

Downtown Ladysmith Festival of Lights

Hi Everyone.

Nov 26th, we travelled south to Nanaimo to stay two nights at the Buccaneer Inn. The owners were very helpful and they go the extra mile to keep a clean, top notch hotel with a number of amenities that you generally find at a higher priced location. We would happily recommend this place to everyone. As you see from our photo we had a nice view of the Nanaimo Harbour and luckily, the weather was cold, but sunny for most of the time.

The next day we took a short trip south to a small community called Ladysmith to take part in the 21st Annual Festival of Lights. First Ave was closed at 3 p.m. from one end of town to the other, about 5 or 6 blocks. At 4 o-clock the portable stages came alive with musical performances. There were numerous street entertainers, clowns, a craft fair, and many concession stands for those of us who were hungry for mini-donuts, hot dogs, as well as a spaghetti dinner at the local Eagles Hall.

We were part of the estimated 20,000 people walking up and down the streets, shopping the stores and just enjoying the Christmas music and spirit. Santa arrived at 6:30 to start the countdown to the street light up. We went from a semi-blackness to a full fledged display of thousands of Christmas lights that lit up the whole street. It was quite spectacular. Once the lights “lit up” the hour long evening parade began. We watched clowns and bands, trucks, emergency vehicles, and huge floats – all brightly decorated with Christmas lights. When the parade ended the people gathered at the north end of town to sing carols and start another countdown to light up the community center and a huge tree. A parade, two light-ups, entertainment – you’d think that would be the end…..nope! As soon as the tree was lit, the fireworks began – they lasted almost 30 minutes and they were fantastic! Finally at 9 p.m. we were heading for our vehicle and waiting to slowly move through the crowds to get out of town. Ladysmith is built on a huge hill…….this means the roads are at least a 15 – 18 % grade and as we crept up and down we were very happy that we did not have a standard vehicle. I know I would have been stuck between the clutch, brake and accelerator. We had trouble keeping our Suburban from going backwards and we have an automatic! This tells you how steep the roads are! It was a very enjoyable day and we were very happy that we took the time to go. The Christmas season has begun…….are you ready? Take care, Peter & Connie

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