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Here comes Santa Claus, right down Santa Claus lane

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Starting Saturday in Elmira, the man in the red suit will be making the scene in local parades, including Wellesley and St. Clements, before his big day

The 1st Elmira Scouts Venturers are looking to the hairy honchos of Duck Dynasty for their float theme to be unveiled at Saturday’s parade in Elmira. From left: Dylan Smith, Quentin Mayer, Jordan Metzger, Jacob Fulcher, Avry Cook. [Elena Maystruk / The Observer]
The 1st Elmira Scouts Venturers are looking to the hairy honchos of Duck Dynasty for their float theme to be unveiled at Saturday’s parade in Elmira. From left: Dylan Smith, Quentin Mayer, Jordan Metzger, Jacob Fulcher, Avry Cook. [Elena Maystruk / The Observer]
Do you hear the sleigh bells yet? Because Santa is certainly on the way to Woolwich and Wellesley, starting with the parade in Elmira Saturday.

It’s true that the big man in red will have his hands full in the coming weeks, but he always saves a special spot in his schedule the country kids. In St. Clements for example, the tots won’t have to compete too much for his attention on December 21, unlike at the big-city parades, said Wellesley Township Coun. Paul Hergott.

Did he have any trouble inviting Santa for the big parade just three days before his big night?

“No not at all!” Hergott laughed.

And, everyone’s eyes will be aglow in anticipation of St. Nick’s arrival at the Christmas Tyme Parade in Wellesley on the night of December 13, courtesy of the Christmas lighting. Though the event takes place after the sun goes down, no one ever seems to mind the chill as the village will be lit up at night with the procession.

“We’re kind of hoping this year it will be a little bit noisier. Santa was pretty good about making it. That date, it’s always on his calendar: he knows Wellesley depends on him,” said parade committee member Michelle Martin.

Today (Saturday), the Elmira parade is bigger than ever, said Kiwanis Club organizer Lyndon Ziegel, noting there’s no need to step out of town to enjoy the festivities of Christmas.

“The city parades are great, don’t get me wrong, but we like to think we’re just a little bit better than they are,” he said slyly.

Elmira’s festive event starts at 10 a.m. today when floats will line up along William Street and head south on Arthur Street for the hour-long parade. With about 30 floats, it’s the largest parade in Elmira to date, he added.

Wellesley’s Christmas Tyme takes place the weekend after on December 13 starting at 6:45 p.m. at Wellesley Public School, travels west down Queen’s Bush Road, then south on Nafziger, turns right on Maple Leaf Road, ending at the Community Centre.

Following the parade, Wellesley will light its tree and carolling will ensue. Several bands are invited to bring life to the event as well. Donations for the food bank will be collected along the route and at the community centre.

The St. Clements Santa Claus Parade starts at 1 p.m. on December 21, leaving the industrial subdivision on Herrgott Road and ends at Lions Park. The Lions Club will be collecting canned goods for the food bank and toys will be collected during the march for the holiday toy drive.

Hergott agrees about the appeal of smaller towns at Christmas.

“It’s a smaller-town parade and Santa sits back at Huggy Bear Park and gives candy to the kids.”

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