Tofino Sea Kayaking staff Sable Trafton holds a gift card they are contributing ‘12 Days of Jingle’ draw. One lucky local will has the chance to win $500 worth of gift cards to local merchants. (TLCC photo)

Tofino’s 12 Days of Jingle kicks off holiday season

"We wanted to do it early so people could make purchases and send them wherever they need to go."

Tofino’s traditional night of merriment has been reinvented as the ’12 Days of Jingle’ this year. Starting Saturday, Nov. 21 and running until Wednesday, Dec. 2, West Coasters can take advantage of holiday specials at this fun, shop local community event.

Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce (TLBCC) executive director Jen Dart said the week-long shopping extravaganza was created to help businesses stick to their COVID-19 protocols.

“Some people will have daily specials, some will have specials on the weekend. It’s going to be really different this year. Everything will be posted on the ‘12 Days of Jingle’ Facebook Page,” she said.

For most retailers, COVID-19 protocols include limiting the number of people allowed in the store, mandating face-masks, supplying hand sanitizer and directional signage. According to Dart, Tofino businesses are fairing well in spite of the restrictions.

“In the summer I think it was quite difficult, but now with slightly less of a crowd, things are easier to manage. Everyone was really grateful to have a successful season this year despite everything that is going on,” she said.

The ’12 Days of Jingle’ is a collaborative effort between the TLBCC, the District of Tofino and Tourism Tofino.

“I think the ’12 Days’ are a nice variation on the traditional Jingle, extending it so that potentially more local residents and visitors will get to shop locally, while practicing safe measures and dispersing the [foot] traffic that would usually occur on the Friday night,” Tourism Tofino’s Samantha Fyleris notes.

With the early Jingle shopping dates, locals are ensured ample of time to mail gifts well before the Canada Post holiday shipping cutoff.

“We wanted to do it early so people could make purchases and send them wherever they need to go. You know, bringing the ‘Made In Tofino’ all over Canada. Obviously it’s not going to look the same as years past, but it’s still a really important event for us and for local merchants,” said Dart.

’12 Days of Jingle’ shoppers that spend $50 or more at participating Tofino retailers can enter to win one package of $500 in gift cards to local merchants.

“We’ve done this before and it went off really well. We did the draw on the radio, and we are hoping to do that again,” she said, adding that all she wants for Christmas is a vaccine.

Ucluelet’s Midnight Madness at the end of November will also look different this year. Stay tuned for details in the Nov. 25 edition of the Westerly.

nora.omalley@westerlynews.caLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ: West Coast holiday giving guide for those in need

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