It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially when you get a sneak peak at Santa’s float for the Santa Claus parade, and even a glimpse of the man in red who will ride it.
For the first time since 2019, the Santa Claus parade, Groovin’ with Santa, will be winding through downtown on Nov. 19. There will be fireworks beginning at approximately 5:20 p.m., launched at Van Horne Street’s hill near All Nations’ Church. The parade itself will begin promptly at 5:30 p.m. at Ste. Anne Road before turning onto Elgin Street, to Larch Street and finally to Elm Street to complete the loop. You can find a map here.
It’s the 21st anniversary of the ‘night parade,’ and the 62nd anniversary of the live parade.
For those who gathered at the City of Greater Sudbury’s Lawson Street facility, there was a chance to meet the parade co-chairs, Rick Carr and Laurie Prudhomme, as well as hear about the honourary chairs, Hot 93.5 hosts G-Rant and Sherry K, and a little about how this once annual parade will be getting back on its feet.
Organizers shared a few safety tips as well. They ask that no candy be thrown from the floats as special candy elves will be handing out candy canes along the route.
But one of the biggest attractions, other than Santa himself, of course, is the best float contest.
“There is a serious element to this parade, and that is, of course, the float contest,” said Kyle Marcus, co-chair of the Downtown Sudbury BIA.
He went on to thank all of the judges for this year: Wendy Watson of Greater Sudbury Utilities, Kendra MacIssac of the YMCA and Downtown Sudbury BIA’s co-chair, GSPS Deputy Chief Sarah Cunningham, Ward 10 Coun. Fern Cormier, Ryan Puddy from Stingray radio and two judges who are children as well.
“Judges will be examining both the corporate and non-profit floats, and floats are judged based on their use of decorations and lights, Christmas music, theme costumes, and basically the whole float as an entirety,” said Marcus.
There is also judging for non-float entries like marching groups, bands and animals, who will be judged based on costumes, music, originality and precision. The winners will be announced on Dec. 1.
As to the response to the first parade since before the pandemic began, Marcus said it’s been “fantastic.”
“We've opened up on social media, our website's been really busy, the emails keep coming in. I think we've seen a whole ton of volunteers,” he said. “It's really nice to see the community show up for this, especially after the hiatus and I hope to see a bigger crowd than ever.
That enormous crowd will be entertained by the more than 50 floats that have already signed up, and more coming in every day, said organizers.
The parade will be shown live on Eastlink, and if you missed attending or you were too busy on a float, you’ll be able to find a recording throughout the holiday season.
You can find more information about this weekend’s parade at SudburySantaClausParade.com.