It’s that time of year again! It may only be the beginning of November, but according to the retail world, the Christmas season is upon us. As a wholehearted lover of Christmas, I embrace the early start! And what better way to kick it off than with the annual London Santa Claus Parade?
While many things change, the London Santa Claus Parade is not one of them. The parade I take my children to every year is in fact very similar to the parade that I went to as a child – the same marching bands, the same kitschy-fabulous floats, the same clowns, and even the same Ghostbusters Ecto-1! The charm of the old parade is, for me, the nostalgia of a simpler time when the pure excitement of that first glance of Santa Claus was enough to make the night a flawless success. Will you be there? I sure will be!
WHAT: This year’s theme is Eh Canadian Christmas!
WHEN: This Saturday, November 8. The parade begins at 6:00pm heading down Dundas Street from Egerton.
WHERE: Whether you are going or not, you will want to be aware of the PARADE ROUTE down QUEENS AVE from Quebec Street to Ridout Street** for Saturday evening. The route is often blocked off in advance of the parade due to the volume of pedestrians on the streets. Please plan your travel/parking in advance to keep everyone safe! **Note that the route has changed this year!
WHAT TO BRING
As in previous years, the London Santa Claus Parade will be collecting for various charities and causes. Please watch for the official Santa Claus Parade collectors!
TOONIE TOSS: The Beta Sigma Phi Sorority will be collecting toonies (or any other cash,change, etc) to be put towards the cost of running the parade. Donations ensure that the parade comes back every year!
TEDDY BEAR TOSS: Bring a brand new teddy bear to be donated to the London Salvation Army
FOOD BANK DONATIONS: Non-perishable food items will be collected during the parade and donated to the London Food Bank. Last year over 14 000 lbs of food was donated during the parade!
AND FOR YOURSELF… there are often organizations or coffee shops open along route selling hot chocolate, coffee, and treats, but if you have any Halloween candy lying around still, it might be a good idea to grab a handful or two (or a healthy snack!) to keep the kids happy. Pace yourself with the drinks though, toilets are hard to come by.
Please remember to make space for the children. Be mindful of where you are sitting and be aware of blocking other people’s view or taking up too much of that precious curb real estate. Get cozy! Start spreading that Holiday cheer early and be kind to others. The Parade Officials are also asking that you bring rain gear instead of umbrellas if necessary, do not smoke along the parade route, and respect the officials.
Dress very warmly, bring blankets and/or fold-able chairs to sit on, and your camera! These are memories your children will treasure.