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Snow arrived before December this year and appears to be sticking around London, Ontario for the long haul. That’s okay because it adds a seasonal touch to all the Christmas decorations that are around. Of course for many, it isn’t truly time for the Christmas countdown until a few things happen. Do you know what I’m talking about? Read on to see what festive events are taking place this weekend in London!

Festive Events In Your Neighbourhood

Lighting of the Lights in Victoria Park

It isn’t officially Christmas without the Lighting of the Lights in Victoria Park. Every year the city decorates Victoria Park with thousands of lights, ornaments, figurines and more. On Friday, November 29th, the fun begins at 6:15 pm. There will be carolers, a variety of entertainment, skating at the rink and more. At approximately 6:45 pm the Mayor and City Counsellors will lead everyone in Christmas carols, then count down to flip the switch for the lights. 3, 2, 1… and the park will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland. The lights will be on every night from 5:30 pm – 11 pm until January 1st, 2014. For an extra special sight, why not go to the 12th floor of City Hall (300 Dufferin Ave) to view the lights from the City Hall Promenade Deck. The viewing hours are as follows;

Friday, November 29 to Monday, December 2, inclusive 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 3 CLOSED
Wednesday, December 4 to Sunday, December 8, inclusive 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Monday, December 9 & Tuesday, December 10 CLOSED
Wednesday, December 11 to Monday, December 16, inclusive 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 17 CLOSED
Wednesday, December 18 to Tuesday, December 24, inclusive 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 25 CLOSED (CHRISTMAS DAY)
Thursday, December 26 CLOSED (BOXING DAY)
Friday, December 27 to Monday, December 30, inclusive 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 31 CLOSED (NEW YEAR’S EVE)
Wednesday, January 1 CLOSED (NEW YEAR’S DAY)
CP Holiday Train

With the lights all aglow it is full steam ahead for the Canadian Pacific Holiday train to pull into town! This is the 15th year that the Holiday Train has hit the rails, and on December 1st at 8:30 pm it will pull into London. Make sure to arrive to the Richmond St railway crossing between Oxford and Central at least 15 minutes early to see the train arrive. Donations will be accepted for the London Food Bank. Seeing the train lit up isn’t the only perk though. The train also features a boxcar full of entertainment in tow. On the London stage, we will get to see The Brothers Dube and The Claytones on our stop of the train.

Do you think they will blow the whistle before they draw out of sight? Choo, chooooo…

Celebrate Christmas with a trip to Eldon House

And lastly, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to Eldon House for their Traditional Victorian Christmas. London’s oldest residence will be decorated in the traditional festive way from November 30th, 2013 – January 1st, 2014. Hours are 12 pm – 5 pm. Admission by donation.

If a tour through the house to see holiday decorations of the past isn’t enough, then register for their special Christmas Tea on December 1st. Sittings are at 1:30 pm and 3 pm at a cost of $10 for adults and $5 for children. Enjoy tea and treats in the beauty of a Victorian Christmas, but make sure to call for a reservation, as seating is limited!

How do you get into the festive spirit at Christmas?


Lights, camera, Action!

Christmas Display at Victoria Park

I’m ready for my closeup now. A closeup view of the Christmas lights in Victoria Park, that is! If you have been waiting for a glimpse of the festive display in downtown London, Ontario, you need wait no longer. The annual Lighting of the Lights in Victoria Park is set for tomorrow, Friday, November 30th with activities getting underway at 6:15 pm. There will be carolers  a variety of festive displays, over 75,000 lights, plus Santa’s mailbox will be out so that anxious children can get their letters sent off to the big guy dressed in red! The countdown to lighting starts at 6:50 pm, so get there early!

The lights will be illuminated every night from December 1st through to January 1st, 2013, from 5:30-11 pm. You can view them from the public skating rink, which is open all winter (weather-pending) from 10 am-10 pm. If you want a bird’s-eye view, you can also head up to the Promenade Deck at City Hall from 7-11 pm. It will be open to the public nightly, except on  December 3, 4, 11, 17, 18 25, 26, 31 and January 1st, 2013.


Christmas Tree in Wortley Village

Speaking of lights, there are some already lit just down the road from the downtown core, in Wortley Village. Well, they’re not quite lit just yet. In fact, the beautiful tree you see on the left there is still in need of a decoration or two, and the folks from the Old South Business Association are in need of your help. If you have time tomorrow, they are asking for volunteers to  grab decorations from the Antique store across the street and get decorating. Time is of the essence, as on Saturday, there will be plenty of action in the village.

Yes, the tree needs to be decorated for Christmas in the Village, on December 1st, 2012. When the families show up for breakfast with Santa at 9:30 am, they will be expecting to see Wortley Village decked out in its finest festive garb. Breakfast with Santa will be held in Landon Library, from 9:30-11:30 am. There is so much more to see and do during Christmas in the Village though. There will be horse and buggy rides from 10:30 am -2 pm, the Christmas bus from 1-4 pm, Passport to Christmas from 10 am-4 pm, Pet Portraits with Father Christmas from 2-4 pm and of course the official lighting of the tree at 4:30 pm. Come out for the music, merriment and memories that you will build this Saturday.


And if  you have been waiting for December to get your own Christmas lights up, now is the time. There are only 25 days til Christmas my friends. Merry Christmas!

O Christmas Tree
O Christmas Tree
How lovely are thy branches…

Lighting of the Lights in Victoria Park

And on Friday night at 6:50pm, the Christmas lights in Victoria Park will be lit up again for another season of holiday cheer! That’s right, the Lighting of the Lights ceremony is this Friday and with over 75,000 lights ready to be lit, it should be dazzling yet again.  The festivities start at 6:15pm on November 25th in Victoria Park, but the lights will be lit every evening until January 1st, 2012. This year sounds like it will be even more fun too, as the Lighting of the Lights is going to be coordinated with The Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay. Yes, the final medal bearer will enter the park and address the crowd at 6:30pm, right before the lights are lit up. Plus, you can drop off name suggestions for this year’s newest holiday display. The person that picks the best name for the Name the Festive Train contest will win a $50 Spectrum gift certificate, so get your thinking caps on now!

I am thinking “Festive Train“. What’s your thought?


What about the Christmas lights at your house? Have you tackled that little project yet? Do you have Santa sticking out of your chimney or Rudolph and his gang of reindeer grazing in your front yard?  If you are a member of the Griswald family, I seriously want you to send me pictures! Please!!

At my house, the wife insists on tasteful. Lights on the roof line, and we might shake it up this year with some floodlights. Or maybe it is just that I get shaky at the thought of heights and can only handle so long on the ladder. If you have the same problem, I heard tell about a new company in town that can help you with your Christmas lighting. They are actually a tree services company, but they branched out a few years ago to Christmas Decor too. I am talking about the local CLC Tree Services, owned by Curt McCallum. They provide the lights, labour and take it all down again at the end of the season. A pretty good deal, if you don’t want to mess with untangling the Christmas lights again yourself.

Lighting Up the Christmas Night with CLC

Doesn’t that look nice? If you do put up your Christmas lights yourself, be careful on that ladder. A fall off a ladder right before Christmas would just put a damper on the festivities, not to mention cutting into your shopping time! Since Santa has arrived in the malls, I guess it is time that I wished you a Merry Christmas too!

And a Happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends as well! Have a great weekend.

Welcome to In Your Neighbourhood!

Allow me to introduce myself. The name is Jim. You want to know more? Well, check out my "About Me" page! Don't forget to take a peek at my "Local London Listings" while you are here too! I update it regularly. Enjoy your visit and drop me a line to let me know you were in the neighbourhood!

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