Ride the steam train through a winter wonderland at the BC Forest Discovery Centre at the Christmas Express season kicks off Dec. 1. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen file)

Christmas kicks off Friday in Duncan; Christmas Express Saturday at Forest Discovery Centre

Downtown Duncan kicks off Christmas, and the next day, it’s time for the Christmas Express

A Christmas Kick-off lights up Duncan on Friday, Nov. 30.

At 5:30 p.m., everything starts at City Square with a welcome, then Santa’s helpers band joins the fun. There’s a horse-drawn wagon, and roasted chestnuts as well.

The tree-lighting and the arrival of Santa Claus by fire truck takes place at 6 p.m. They’ll come in via Ingram Street and set up by Pharmasave.

Santa’s Helper’s Band is back on stage at 6:15 and 7 p.m., with a show at 6:50 p.m. by performers from Carlson’s School of Dance.

Finally, at 8 p.m., there’s the fireworks display.

Meanwhile, on the Community Stage, by Just Jake’s, from 5:40 to 6 p.m., the Queen Margaret’s School String Orchestra will entertain, followed by the Queen of Angels School Primary Choir. From 6:30 to 7 p.m. the DDT Drumline takes over with the Cowichan Valley Concert Band closing the show from 7:05 to 7:40 p.m.

Christmas Express back at BCFDC

And, starting the very next day, the popular annual Christmas Express at the BC Forest Discovery Centre starts its 13-night holiday season.

“We love bringing the Christmas Express out and seeing the magic of the holiday in the faces of everyone that attends. Our attendance has been growing, so we are hoping to exceed previous attendance this year with 13 nights of holiday magic. We invite islanders to come out to see the light displays, enjoy the seasonal music, make a Christmas craft, and ride the Christmas Express train,” said Chris Gale, manager of the BC Forest Discovery Centre.

From Dec. 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, and 19-23 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., take the family to enjoy a winter wonderland, as the Christmas Express, a 1910 steam locomotive, travels through thousands of twinkling lights that adorn the 100 acre enchanged woods of the BC Forest Discovery Centre.

The steam train leaves every 20 minutes from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. and it’s really popular with people from all across the Valley and beyond.

Keep warm with hot chocolate, mini donuts and, this year, chili dogs and bowls of chili.

If you want to reserve tickets, call 250-715-1113 ext. 30 from Monday to Wednesday. The last day for advance purchasing is Wednesday, Dec. 12.

“The Christmas Express is the museum’s largest fundraiser of the year and is paramount to the ongoing operation and maintenance of our antique vehicle collection, our trains, maintenance of the historical buildings and the preservation of an important ecosystem within the Cowichan Region,” said organizers.

Just Posted

Burning season has arrived in the Cowichan Valley Regional District, but beware of bylaws

It’s officially burning season in the Cowichan Valley Regional District, as residents… Continue reading

Francophone parents hoping to set up a French school in the Valley

Their children have a right to be educated in French, these parents say

Voter’s Guide for Cowichan-Malahat-Langford

Check out our voter’s guide for tomorrow’s federal election: Image across page,… Continue reading

VIDEO: Climate change, veterans, tax cuts: it was all there at Lake Cowichan all-candidates debate

All six candidates faced off in the final Cowichan Valley debate of this federal election season

Cowichan T-Birds finish 5th at Bridgman Cup

Cow High contends at Victoria’s prestigious field hockey tournament

Environment Canada issues gale warnings for western Vancouver Island

Gale warnings in effect for most of Vancouver Island and west coast Mainland

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Most Read