For nearly two decades Santa Clause has paid a special visit to Elmira, and this year is no different as the 19th annual Santa Clause parade rolls into town next Saturday.
Organized by the Elmira Kiwanis Club, this year’s parade should prove to be as big as ever, with seven bands and about 20 floats confirmed for the event.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. sharp in front of Riverside Public School on William Street, before winding along Arthur Street and through downtown Elmira towards its finishing point at the Legion located on First Street. The parade takes about an hour and a half to complete, and is a great deal of fun for the whole family, says the chair of the parade committee.
“This parade is as good, if not better, than the one in K-W,” said Lyndon Ziegel. “Why drive to K-W if you don’t have to?”
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The parade started when Ziegel and other members of the now-defunct Jaycee service club decided that instead of sending busloads of kids and parents down to Kitchener-Waterloo to see the Santa Claus parade, they should have their own.
When the Jaycees folded about seven years ago, Ziegler joined the Kiwanis Club and took the parade with him.
He said it’s a good way to support the local community and the downtown shops in the area, and that the growth in Elmira in recent years has seen the popularity of the parade grow as well.
“There seem to be a lot of new entries this year from Guelph, Fergus and Elora,” he added.
Ziegel is still looking for volunteers to dress up in festive costumes and hand out candy along the parade route, as well as for volunteers to help throughout the day. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact him at 669-0598.
For those also interested in having an entry in the parade this year, register online at www.elmirakiwanisclub.com.