We went to our first Santa Claus Parade in this town, 16 years ago and were mightily impressed by the effort and spirit shown. I mean, it's a town and not a city, but there were lots of floats with lots of kids. There were trucks and tractors and animals walking.
That hasn't changed, but the crowds have. Sixteen years ago, getting there and finding a parking space and a spot from which to view the parade was easy. But, my goodness, we could hardly get there last night for the traffic.
Danica wanted to come, so Sue dropped us off at a spot near the route to save me from a long walk. She thought she might find a parking spot and hike back to us. Alas! She gave up and went home to await our call to pick us up.
This is still a town and not a city, but growth is occurring apace because we are close to decent commuting distance and the four lane highway (two each way) that goes west also becomes a regular two-lane one past us . One day when I drove to Shauna's from a shopping area, I must have passed 5 new subdivisions under construction, and there were a few more that I didn't drive past. When we moved here, we bought about the only townhouse available. Now they are in abundance.
The increased population, plus people coming out after lockdowns and no parade at all last year, resulted in crowds all along the route, which was even expanded this year to allow for more viewing space.
Here are two photos from FB, to give some sense of the crowds. I know that it's not the big Toronto or Montreal crowds for their big parades, but it is still remarkable to me, given what the crowds used to be.
Stupidly, I took the wrong lens – my medium telephoto and not my 'normal' lens. But Dani and I were on a street not as wide as this main street, and I was too close to get many photos. Of course, I got some anyway that I hope capture the flavour of a town parade that doesn't have the grand floats of a big city extravaganza.
A fire engine always comes first, after a police car anyway, and the town crier walks behind.
There were animals. Several groups of dogs walked past, and horses of various sizes including a tiny one. But I am showing you regular horses.
There were all sorts of trucks of all sorts of sizes. This was one of the big ones. There were tractors too, but I seem to have deleted any of those. I was tired last night when I uploaded the photos.
The bands weren't grand. Canadian schools don't do marching bands although some communities do. When we lived in the border community of Sarnia, next to Michigan, there would always be more than one snazzy American, high school band, but we are not a border town.
We have had good size, local piper bands in the past, but not this year. There were two little groups like this last evening.
Our schools do have very fine music programs, but they are concert bands and not marching bands. They sit on a float and play for us.
Mostly, floats are of kids going by and waving to us, or not.
I do not know what cait in the first float means in English. The lady was singing to us, very nicely, may I add, and the music note indicates something musical, but I don't know exactly what. I asked Danica, who is in immersion French but she didn't know. Both kids take some classes en français and some in English.
After about 45 minutes, Santa came by. He and Mrs Claus came and went quickly, but I did snatch a couple of photos.
And that, dear folk, is a glimpse of a town parade on a very chilly evening in Canada. Indeed, Danica went home and snuggled under the blankets to get herself warmed up.