Santa Claus is coming to town on Saturday morning in a parade that is going to be bigger and better than last year.
Lyndon Zeigel, the Kiwanis Club’s parade organizer, says this is going to be the biggest Elmira Santa Claus parade yet, setting out at 10 a.m. sharp on Dec. 5.
“We are going to well exceed where we were at last year,” he said. “Every year seems to get bigger. So far, we have about 25 groups, plus on top of that, we’ve got 10 bands this year. Normally the fire department and the police are involved. I would say that by the time we are done, we are going to have probably 48 to 50 items in the lineup ready to go on Saturday morning. On top of that, we still have our costume people and our banner carriers.”
Before jolly old St. Nick makes his appearance at the end of the lineup, some of the newer pieces of the parade include new bands visiting from other communities, and the robotics club from Elmira District Secondary School.
“One (band) is from the K-W Navy League and we have a band that is coming from Guelph this year that we have never had before,” said Zeigel. “We have the robotics club, they are going to be bringing some kind of robot to hand out candy. We always get something a little different.”
Parade watchers will also have a better view of the fat man in red, this year, with downtown planning taking a bit of a different turn.
“Normally, we don’t close the roads,” he said, mentioning that Woolwich Township had a hand in changing the plans for this year. “We are going to have barricades up so there will be no parking in downtown Elmira. So there will be more chances for the kids to stand right on the road, rather than standing between, or in front of, parked cars.”
Zeigel and the paraders are expecting pleasant weather for this year’s event. With the forecast showing a morning of 5-degree weather and some sun, he says that should translate into a few extra spectators.
“Last year, I wouldn’t be surprised if we had 800 to 1,000 people downtown,’ he said. “We are always hoping for more. That always makes for a little bit of a bigger draw, when the weather is better.”
Canada Post workers will be walking the parade route as well, collecting letters to Santa and sending them to the North Pole.
The parade starts right at 10 a.m. on William Street in Elmira, will make a right hand turn down Arthur Street North and South, and then will take a left onto First Street East.
Other parades in the region include the St. Clements Santa Claus Parade on Dec. 19 at 1 p.m. and the Wellesley Christmas Thyme Parade on Dec. 11 at 6:45 p.m.