With the big day less than a month away, it’s a busy time of the year no matter who you are; but perhaps no one has an itinerary quite like Jolly Old Saint Nick himself. We can’t expect the big man to be everywhere at once, even with a troupe of flying reindeer to guide the way, but those hoping to meet Santa Claus in person will have several chances to do so over the month of December.
In the Township of Wellesley, Santa Claus will once again be taking part in the Christmas Tyme in Wellesley parade, which this year falls on the first Friday of the month, December 7. The following week, Santa will be featured in the St. Clements Santa Claus parade on Saturday, December 15.
“Basically, we do a story time with Santa and Mrs. Claus. That starts at 4 o’clock at the Community Centre in Wellesley (Village),” said Michelle Martin, chair of the Christmas Tyme organizing committee.
Following story time, there will be a live nativity scene reenactment at 6:30 by the village pond, and a second one later in the evening at 7:20. But before that comes the main attraction of the evening: the Christmas Tyme Parade, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.
“There’s lots of good floats. The Shriners will be there again this year,” said Martin, noting the Shriners are always a hit with the crowds.
“The Hurricanes girls’ minor hockey will be collecting food bank donations along the route, and we have local people that will be singing,” she adds. “There’ll be music, there’s always the churches that are involved and do floats. We’ll have some local dignitaries that always come out.”
Starting at 6:45 p.m. at the Wellesley Public School on Queen’s Bush Road, the route takes the parade of some 30 floats through the village along Nafziger and Maple Leaf roads, before ending at the community centre.
“And then they do the Tree of Light and caroling again at the park, and they have hot apple cider, cookies. They have the Wellesley Idol perform at that time as well and we do accept donations for the Meals on Wheels and Wellesley Family Outreach program,” says Martin.
The following weekend, on December 15, Santa Claus will be making a second appearance in the township at the St. Clements Santa Claus Parade, which will be held in the downtown core from 1 to 3 p.m..
“We’ve got the best Santa float around,” said Paul Hergott, organizer for the St. Clements Parade. “It’ll be a fun day for the kids, and it’s a good parade for a small town.”
The procession starts at the industrial mall in St. Clements at 1 p.m., travels up Herrgott Road, crosses onto Lobsinger Line, then takes Peter Street to the Lions Park in town. After the parade, Santa will be handing out treats to all comers, and there will be hot dogs and hot apple cider. Along the parade route, the Paradise and District Lions will be collecting donations for the food bank.
With the parade still two weeks away, Hergott adds that those interested in entering a float can call him at 519-749-5730.
Over in neighbouring Woolwich Township, Santa Claus will be busy as well, making appearances in the Elmira Santa Claus Parade this Saturday, as well as a breakfast at the Calvary United Church in St. Jacobs on December 8.
“We do a lot of things for kids in the community, but this one is all about fun and us just giving back to the community on this one,” explained Bob Wilbur, president of the St. Jacobs Optimist Club, which is organizing the event.
“We put on a full breakfast, but also then the kids get a chance to have some fun. They get a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus,” said Wilbur. “There is a silent auction more geared towards the parents and then there is a – we call it a penny auction, it’s actually a toonie auction – and kids get tickets and they have little gifts for the kids there.
“So there’s lots going on. We have a carol singing group there, the Chord Spinners. And we have a face painting clown. Yes, it is a bustling day: lots of activity, lots of fun for everybody.”
The event costs just $5, with the raised money going towards the Optimists’ mission of supporting youth in the community.
Finally, several of the local community centres in the township are hosting events of their own, with Santa set to make a number of appearances. Starting today, November 29, in Elmira at the Moonlight Madness event, running from 6 to 8 in the evening.
On December 1, the Bloomingdale Community Centre will feature the magic of Five the Magician from 2 to 4 p.m. Later in the day, from 6 to 9, Breslau will be hosting horse drawn wagon rides; however, tickets for the ride have sold out due to the popular demand.
The following day, December 2, the Heidelberg Community Centre will be having Santa over from 2 to 4 p.m. for pictures. Finally next week in Maryhill, December 9, will be a Minions Dance Party from 1 to 3 p.m. The free events across Woolwich are part of the Grow Woolwich campaign, with support from the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation.