Coming first to Elmira this Saturday, Santa Claus will be taking part in the parade through the town, which starts at 10 a.m.
“This year they got me in a fire truck, just in case of emergencies I can help out. So I’ll be in that, ready to go,” said Santa Claus, who will be taking time out of his busy Christmas schedule to meet the people of Elmira.
“[We’ll] see all the kids, we’ll go up and down the street, meet them all, wave hello to everybody there,” he said. “Then after that we got other places to be and other parades to do, we’ve got malls to go to and toys to make, as you know.”
Lyndon Ziegel, Kiwanis member and parade chairman for the Elmira event, estimates they’ll be having 50 to 60 floats in town, and about 900 people taking part. A total of six bands will be rounding out the procession, with the Waterloo Region Police band taking the lead and the Elmira Legion, and Santa Claus in the rear. The parade will be marching from William Street down Elmira’s main thoroughfare to the Legion on First Street.
The following weekend will be the Christmas Tyme Parade in Wellesley village, held on the second Friday of the month. The parade starts at 6:45 p.m., and will be making its way from the Wellesley school, down Queens Bush Road and along Nafzinger Road to end at the community centre. With three parades to go to and a number more engagements all over the township, Santa is undoubtedly going to have a busy next few weeks. For kids, this will give them plenty of opportunities to meet with Santa before Christmas.
“In the afternoon when the children are out of school, the younger children come down to the community centre where Mrs. Santa reads to them,” said Jean Horne, one of the organizers of the parade. “That has been happening for a number of years, and that works out very well. And of course then they get treats as well from Santa.”
In the parade itself, Horne expects there will be about 30 floats, and will include the Applejacks hockey team, Wellesley Ambassador and Idol, with a Wellesley fire truck taking the lead. Joining the parade will be a much older antique fire truck that comes each year from Baden to participate, while locals will be bringing out their tractors and giant sprayers decorated in Christmas colours as well.
“The kids are all enthralled by the big machinery. Especially if they live in the village and don’t see a lot of big farm machinery,” said Horne.
Afterwards, people will be able to head back into the community centre to meet with the Clauses if they haven’t done so, or stick around outside for more festivities. The Wellesley Idol winner will be singing in the park, while the village will be doing the ceremonial tree lighting.
“We are just happy that so many people come out and watch the parade along the street – every age is out there supporting the town,” said Horne.
Then, the weekend after in St. Clements, Santa Claus will be back for another parade, and Paul Hergott, a member of the St. Clements parade committee, is encouraging everyone to come out.
“It’s got the best Santa and Santa float in the world!” he said confidently.
Hergott guesses there will be about 20 to 25 floats. Sweetening the deal, he adds there will be three bands in the parade, and offerings of hot apple cider and hot dogs. The parade kicks off just south from the St. Clements fire hall at 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 16, and goes for roughly half-an-hour tour through the village.
With two parades to go to and a number more engagements all over the township, Santa is undoubtedly going to have a busy next few weeks. For kids, this will give them plenty of opportunities to meet with Santa before Christmas.