12.1 C
Sunday, June 7, 2020
Connecting Our Communities

The man in the big red suit is coming to town

Jolly Old Saint Nick has a busy schedule at local parades in the townships as the calendar flips to December

We’ve had snow on and off, but nothing says Christmas is coming like the arrival of jolly ol’ Saint Nick. The man in red has a busy schedule locally, with many a parade to headline.

Santa’s long list of appearances includes stops in Elmira, Wellesley and St. Clements.

He’ll be waving at the crowds along Arthur Street in Elmira on December 7, then making an evening appearance in Wellesley the following week on December 13.

There will be a few new aspects to the Woolwich stop, says Murray Haight, an organizer of the Elmira (Kiwanis) Santa Clause Parade.

“The float is a recent addition, and replaces one which had been in the parade for many years,” said Haight. “One of our members, Peter, arranged for his brother Paul Waurechen to design and construct the float. Paul is an expert float builder, having worked on many of the floats seen in the KW Oktoberfest parade.”

Now in its 28th year, the Elmira parade has gradually grown over the years, with dozens of local groups, more than 25 floats, and seven bands set to be featured in this edition. Given the sheer size of the parade, the Elmira organizing committee begins planning as early as August.

Planning includes booking Santa Claus, who is a busy man this time of year, arranging for sponsors to help pay for the cost of bands, recruiting volunteers, and setting up floats.

“Then the day of, there are the logistics of getting it organized and putting it in the right sequence,” said Haight. “Everybody part of the parade we end up at the Legion, we go there, they serve coffee cookies hot chocolate for the young participants.”

The parade begins at the corner of William and Arthur streets, continues south, then turns left on First Street, before ending at the Legion hall.

“Thank goodness William Street has been finished because that’s where the parade is being assembled. Up until a few weeks ago, it was under construction,” said Haight. “So that would have been a bit of a challenge to figure out how to get everyone organized on a muddy street. At least it’s paved and good to go.”

The Elmira parade will kick off at 10 a.m. The Wellesley version, on the other hand, is a night-time parade. It will run down Queen’s Bush Road, then onto Nafziger Road, turn onto Maple Leaf Street before ending up at the community centre. At around 7:20 p.m., there will be a live nativity scene by the Wellesley pond.

“Our big emphasis on it is that it’s a free, fun night, and it is a local event,” said Michelle Martin, one of the organizers of the parade.

Staff will be accepting any cash or food donations for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region. Martin said the amount raised varies from year to year, with the 2018 outing bringing in $1,800.

“We do rely on donations from the parade participants. For the most part, we get donations from a few local businesses like Pym’s in Wellesley,” said Martin. “They are really, really fantastic about it – they donate all of the story time treats and drinks. We’re very fortunate that a lot of the local businesses are supporting the Christmas Tyme night in that way.”

Both organizers were hoping for ideal weather on the day of – a bit light snow can add to the Christmas feel. The Wellesley parade kicks off at 6:45 p.m. – residents of the township can expect a flyer in the mail.

Upcoming parades in the Townships:

Sunday, Dec. 1 – 6 p.m.

New Hamburg Santa Claus Parade

Saturday, Dec. 7 – 10 a.m.

Elmira Kiwanis Santa Claus Parade

Saturday, Dec. 7 – 1:30 p.m.

Baden Santa Claus Parade

Friday, Dec. 13- 6:45 p.m.

Christmas Thyme in Wellesley Parade

Saturday, Dec. 14 – 1 p.m.

St. Agatha Santa Claus Parade

Saturday, Dec. 21 – 1 p.m.

St. Clements Santa Claus Parade

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to The Observer's online community. Pseudonyms are not permitted. By submitting a comment, you accept that The Observer has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner The Observer chooses. Please note that The Observer does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our submission guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

In Print. Online. In Pictures. In Depth.

You obviously love community journalism. Thanks for visiting today. If you have a great local story, let us know.

Salons and barbershops remain in limbo

Businesses in all sectors have been hit in varying ways because of the closures brought on by COVID-19. Some have been able...

Adding a little spice to life … and your next meal

James Small graduated from culinary school and has been working in restaurants for the past few years. During his time there, customers...

Local musician has no interest in being pigeonholed

Stumbling upon a musician by the name of Jimmy Joe Johnson, you might picture a good ol’ boy playing some country tunes...

Tuesday Live is not your standard Livestream concert series

Heidelberg resident Rob Witherspoon has created a weekly webstream series allowing Canadian talent to perform in front of a continually growing audience...

Return to shopping beyond the essentials

Add ‘bargain hunting’ to the list of shopping options in the restarting economy, as thrift stores have gradually been opening their doors.

Cancellation of YouthForce program will make job market tougher still

People across the country are struggling to find and maintain work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now local youth, who...
- Advertisement -