On New Years Day 2018, Neil Salmond last turned off the huge display of Christmas lights at his home on Tuxedo Drive – or so he thought.
For nearly 30 years, the Salmond family’s ‘Christmas House’ at 4091 Tuxedo Dr. was a Saanich institution with inflatables soaring over 30 feet in the air, robotic decorations and lines of cars up to the sky. ‘at Quadra Street.
In 2017, after an injury that made it difficult for him to climb the ranks, Salmond decided to create the display for one final holiday season and then the lights would go out in the New Year. He sold all the decorations to Merridale Cidery in Cobble Hill and that was it – the end of an era.
However, with the pandemic underway, Salmond and his wife decided to decorate the hallways for a final hurray to brighten up people’s holiday season.
“With COVID, people need something to watch,” he explained, adding that the screen is smaller than before, but he hopes it will still bring joy. “We just wanted to make people smile. “
Because they had sold all of their decorations, the Salmonds searched for lights, bought new nutcrackers, searched for party bears, and borrowed robotic decor from Galey Farms.
There’s a Santa Claus in a hot air balloon, robotic owls, a bear on a bicycle, and lights hung high in the trees using an elevator courtesy of United Rentals. Most of the decorations were designed by Salmond, his wife Michelle, and a friend of his who worked with Disney.
The display attracted thousands of people and Salmond expects the same this year.
Every night until January 1, those looking for a dose of holiday cheer can drop by. The lights come on at 5 p.m. and go out around 11 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing and follow pandemic guidelines, and Salmond recommends coming after dark because that’s when the lights really shine.
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Christmas district of Saanich