This Saturday Niagara-on-the-Lake will host its 54th annual Christmas Parade, set to celebrate the holiday season.
The event typically draws thousands of locals and visitors.
“With the popularity of our parade and a great weather outlook, people will want to make sure that they get out early and get the perfect spot because this year’s parade promises to be the best ever,” said a press release from the Niagara-on-the Lake Christmas Parade Committee.
“Following the 2017 edition of our parade, many people commented that the music lineup was the very best ever. Well, we're moving up the bar a notch or two this year with the addition of two new bands plus the return of all bands from 2017.”
The honorary grand marshal for this year’s parade will be the NOTL Rotary Club, in recognition of 25 years of service to the local community and beyond.
“The club was formed in the fall of 1993 and became a chartered Rotary Club with 26 members in 1994. Since then, the club's contributions to our community and the international community have been nothing short of remarkable,” said Bob Cheriton.
“From support of international student exchange programs, migrant worker support, Syrian refugee support and financial support of countless local initiatives, the NOTL Rotary Club has truly made a difference.”
The club recently celebrated its 25th anniversary with a gift to the town of a renovation of the beachfront at Queen's Royal Park.
Cheriton said the parade is a truly local event.
“With over 100 entries, our parade is a reflection of our community,” he said, noting people can expect to see “tremendous floats” put together by many local schools and businesses.
The parade entry from NOTL Hydro will also feature a food drive.
“Parade goers are urged to help ensure more families can celebrate the holidays by bringing along non-perishable food donations,” said Cheriton.
As always, representatives of Canada Post will be on hand to accept last minute letters for Santa. The correct address for Santa is Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, HOH OHO. Anyone dropping off a letter should be sure the return addresses are clearly marked, so Santa’s elves can be sure a reply gets to the right place.
The parade will start at 11 a.m. at King and Centre streets near the former Parliament Oak School and will weave its way through town to join Queen Street at Simcoe before finishing at the Clock Tower Cenotaph.
“This will be the 54th year that the Niagara-on-the-Lake Christmas Parade has been presented through the outstanding efforts of our large group of community volunteers,” said Cheriton.
“Our Parade is self-funding and the work of our great volunteers is supported by the generous financial support of individuals and business who donate to the parade each year. With the backdrop of one of Canada’s most beautiful and historic communities, the Niagara-on-the- Lake Christmas parade is a highlight of the season for locals and visitors alike. Please come and join us!”
2018 Niagara-on-the-Lake Christmas Parade breakdown:
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 8 at 11 a.m.
WHO: Honorary grand marshal: The NOTL Rotary Club. More than 100 total entrants including many float, equestrian and animal entries, clowns and a number of local dignitaries and celebrities.
WHERE: Starts at King and Centre streets near Parliament Oak School. Ends on Queen Street.