The Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce is bringing back a Port Alberni tradition in a big way.
On each of the first three Sundays in December, the Chamber will offer light-up tours of the city by donation through Island Shuttle Service. Participants can be picked up at the Blue Marlin Inn and from there they will tour the city’s best-decorated homes and businesses for the holidays.
Of course, added Chamber director Bill Collette, participants can feel free to tour on their own.
“They can hop in their own private car and follow the map,” he said.
Anyone who wants to enter their home in the Chamber’s light-up event can do so by registering online at albernichamber.ca/light-up-alberni or at the Chamber of Commerce (2533 Port Alberni Hwy).
There is a $20 fee, but 100 percent of the costs will be going to local charities.
“It was a way to get the buy-in and commitment from people,” explained Collette.
The tour will end at the McLean Mill, where guests can enjoy the light show and music, with baked goods and hot drinks courtesy of the Steam Pot Café.
The Chamber is working with the Blue Marlin Inn this year, as the tour kicks off on Sunday, Dec. 3, on the same night as the Blue Marlin’s annual Sail Past. The bus tour will start this night at the Harbour Quay after all of the boats have sailed past.
Light Up Alberni is an event that has taken place historically in Port Alberni, but disappeared for a few years.
“With the internet, this year it will be quite different,” said Collette. There is an interactive map available on the Chamber’s website where you can view the houses that have registered so far and people will be able to vote for their favourites.
“We did it this year because we wanted to, and because we got some funding,” he added. “And it was in discussion with the Blue Marlin. We just wanted to make Christmas a bit more fun for everyone.”