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Santa Claus Parade:
Ontario's Start to the Holiday Season

The Santa Claus Parade is the traditional start to Ontario's Christmas Holiday season. Here are some views from around the province.

You will notice the lack of snow in the photos. This is because most Santa parades take place in November, well before the snow stays on the ground here in Southern Ontario.

However, waiting and watching is wintry enough and everyone is pleased to get indoors for hot chocolate when the parade ends, particularly on the evening events!

For smaller children, the Santa Parade is the second opportunity to top up their candy jar. Halloween with its Trick-or-Treat sweep of the neighborhood is the first chance.

Santa Claus Parades -- Floats

Santa Claus Parade Shriners' Float

Here's a familar sight at most North American Santa Parades -- the Shriner's float, in this case buses made into a train.

For those of you from outside North America, the Shriner's are a voluntary club dedicated to helping needy children by providing health and recreational amenities.


Santa Claus Parade marching band

Santa's parade isn't complete without bands playing, here it's the Royal Marines Association band.

Their uniforms strike a decidedly Christmassy note in traditional red, white and blue.

Santa Claus Parade Pipe band

And in my opinion, no parade should pass without a Pipe Band. Christmas carols played on bagpipes sound different and yet still Christmassy.

A million times better than the annual output of Christmas songs by pop, rock, and rap musicians anyhow.

Interesting Local Marchers

Santa Claus Parade marching elephant

Every town's parade is a little different. It depends on what clubs and businesses are in the neighbourhood.

Most parades includes the Scouts, Guides, dance schools, or whatever but Bowmanville, in Durham Region, has a zoo.

This is a Christmas elephant partnered with a more likely holy land camel. Behind the elephant and ponies were two reindeer, not pulling Santa's sleigh -- that was left to a quad bike.

Evening Parades

Santa Claus Parade evening marchers

Where towns are closely packed, mainly in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), they run the risk of competing for an audience. Parades are scheduled for the morning, afternoon and evening to ensure maximum exposure.

Here's a picture from the Town of Ajax's evening parade.

For more about Christmas in Canada, visit our page Christmas in Ontario.

Or visit our page Christmas Parade of Lights.

Santa's Float

Santa Claus Parade - Santa's Float

No matter when the parade is held or who is in it, they all finish with Santa himself -- though how he arrives is often a novelty.

Toronto's parade, the biggest and most lavish in Ontario, often finds new and unique ways of having the Jolly Old Elf delivered to end the parade -- and start the shopping.

If you enjoy parades, or even just pictures of them, visit our page of Caribana pictures.

Return to Ontario Parades from Santa Claus Parade

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