Milner gives season a magic touch

Milner Magic set to set the night alight with a blaze of colour

Milner Gardens and Woodland will once again help make Christmas extra special.

Milner Gardens and Woodland will once again help make Christmas extra special.

If you thought hanging your own Christmas lights was a big job, imagine testing and stringing 50,000 light bulbs.

One of the area’s brightest family favourite events – Milner Christmas Magic, is about to sparkle and shine.

Milner Gardens and Woodland celebrates their 12- day festival beginning Friday, Dec. 2 at their stunning 70 acre estate in Qualicum Beach.  The gardens will light up the sky with thousands of lights as they adorn the gardens and pathways this holiday season.  The popular holiday tradition of lights, music and magic in the gardens first started in 2003 and each year the event continues to grow thanks to the incredible network of community volunteers and Milner staff.

Geoff Ball, Executive Director of Milner Gardens, said, “it’s an incredible team effort with a large crew of volunteers tirelessly working together to create a magical Christmas event for all to enjoy. It’s a great way to share the special magic of the gardens all decorated in old fashioned Christmas splendour.”

You may be surprised to know that work began back in September including a group who tested all 50,000 lights. The 12-day festival of lights, music and magic is about more than just light displays.  Volunteers from the Vancouver Island Regional Library will delight children and grown ups alike with their festive storytelling.

Santa will also be on site every day of the festival. The Teddy Bear Cottage is also a hit for both generations with antique collectibles as well as soft and cuddly critters on display.

Children are invited to guess the number of bears in the gardener’s cottage and someone will win a furry surprise.  The gift shops will be open for browsing and stocking up on those special presents including Milner’s specialty homemade jams and jellies.

The festival wouldn’t be complete without the fabulous musicians gracing the gardens with choral and instrumental music. This year’s entertainment begins with Every Voices sing along caroling on Dec. 2 followed by a great list of performers.

The Tea room will be open serving up their scrumptious scones with Devonshire cream and other freshly baked goodies as well as other refreshments and light snacks will be on hand to soothe your holiday cravings.

Shuttles will be available and it’s a great idea to bring along a flashlight for extra light along pathways. The event goes from 5 to  8:30 p.m. on the weekends of December 2 to 4, 9 to 11 and 16 to 21.

Admission is by donation.