Magical Christmas weekend planned in Courtenay

Tis the season for mistletoe, strings of cranberries and popcorn, warm toques and holiday traditions.

Tis the season for mistletoe, strings of cranberries and popcorn, warm toques and holiday traditions.

In downtown Courtenay, the celebrations begin Nov. 26 and 27 with the Christmas Magic Weekend. Explore downtown during the Walk the Windows sight-seeing tour, downtown’s Christmas tree lightup, and the fabulous finds of the Moonlight Magic Sale. The festivities continue Sunday with the Comox Valley Christmas Parade.

The Walk the Windows contest continues to dazzle with whimsical storefronts decorated with children’s stories in mind. Vote for your favourite display and be entered to win one of four fabulous prizes — runs through to Dec 12.

For children there’s Spot the Penguin — count how many penguin decorations you can find in the Walk the Windows businesses and enter your guess at Whales Tale Toys for a chance to win a big stuffed cuddly penguin.

There are children’s activities at the Courtenay Branch Library, and the Courtenay Museum; entries on Nov. 26 will be free to any family that brings a new or used, unwrapped toy or gift for Santa’s Workshop, or a donation for a local food bank.

The Comox Valley Christmas Parade happens on Sunday from 2 to 3 p.m., then the street will be closed to vehicle traffic from 4:30 to 9 p.m. to better enjoy the downtown’s Christmas turn-on ceremony. You’ll share in the beauty of the Comox Valley Christian School’s Bell Choir, while Frosty the Snowman and Courtenay’s newly elected mayor arrive to light up the festive holiday tree.

Streets and storefront windows glow in the warmth of Christmas lights and downtown plazas once again ring with traditional holiday music.

It’s a holiday tradition for local businesses to get creative with their Christmas window displays. The Walk the Windows tour begins when downtown’s storefronts sparkle with the magic and whimsy of fairy-tales and children’s stories.

While strolling along the sidewalks you can enter a ballot with the name of your favourite store window, for a chance to win a $1,000 downtown Courtenay shopping spree, a two-day golf vacation for two at Crown Isle Resort, a two-day seaside vacation at Crown Mansion in Qualicum Beach, or a spa vacation at the Kingfisher Resort.

This event runs Nov. 26 through to Dec. 12. Ballots are available at all of the 69 participating stores.

The top three favourite windows, as voted by the public, will also win three “best-dressed” prizes. Posters are in-store showing the suggested route for visiting all the shop windows. A good place to start is the Comox Valley Art Gallery on Duncan Avenue.

During the Nov. 26 Moonlight Magic Sale you’ll enjoy a bounty of yuletide entertainment, children’s activities, and culinary treats.

On Nov. 27, it’s the Comox Valley Christmas Parade — a dazzling event for kids of all ages down Fifth Street. The parade showcases fun floats, jolly displays and sleighs full of local talent, not to mention Santa Claus himself rolling down the street in a bright red fire truck.

After the parade, children can visit with Santa at the Sid Williams Theatre, and visit the Comox Valley Exhibition’s Live Nativity, with animals to pet and hot chocolate and hotdogs by the Scouts.

Fifth Street will be closed to vehicle traffic from 4:30 to 9 p.m.

— Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association