Jolly old Saint Nick will once again be visiting the streets of Elmira during the annual Santa Claus parade.
This year marks the 19th year for the parade and organizers are hoping to present a bigger and better event.
Organized by the Elmira Kiwanis Club, this year’s parade, to be held today (Saturday), should prove to the best yet with nine bands and 25 floats confirmed, the most to date for the event proving to the popularity of the annual event.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. sharp in front of Riverside Public School on William Street before it starts along Arthur Street through downtown Elmira and finishing at the Elmira Legion on First Street. It usually takes about an hour and half to complete but since the parade has increased in size that time could run over by 10 or 15 minutes this year.
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“We have lots of different people participating this year and have more bands than ever before,” said Lyndon Ziegler, who has organized the event for the last 15 years.
The first Elmira Santa Claus parade started when Ziegler and other members of the now-defunct Jaycees service club decided that instead of sending children and parents to the Kitchener-Waterloo Santa Claus parade they would organize one for the town.
When the Jaycees disbanded eight years ago, Ziegler joined the Kiwanis Club and brought the parade with him.
“It’s a great event that supports the local community,” he said. “There is no need to rush off to the Kitchener-Waterloo parade we have a great event planned this year.”
It’s not just local people participating in the parade, as Ziegler has lined up bands from Burlington and volunteers and floats from Fergus, Elora and Kitchener-Waterloo.
“We have a lot of people coming from all over the place to help make the parade come to life.”
There will be many volunteers walking the parade route handing out candy and will be followed by the man himself – Santa Claus as he greets all the children of Elmira.