The Toronto Santa Claus parade is over 100 years old and a good part of the appeal of the parade is that people have fun every mid-November Santa weekend. And the fun is not just for the kids and viewers – the parade participants have a lot of fun too as these picture attest to. They are taken at Christie and Bloor streets where the parade originates – starting off at 12:30 for downtown Toronto , ending around 4:00 at Front and Jarvis – about 3 1/2 miles down the way. It is an energetic walk for the hundreds of marchers and 20 plus marching bands.
Note to readers – click on any picture to go directly to a gallery with more, similar Parade Pictures.
The first thing I saw as I emerged at the Christie subway station on Santa Parade Sunday morning was a float with Parade people constantly going to and from it. Hunh? Whats this?
Parade clowns filling their sacks with….Well a little investigation revealed what was going on – this was the cache for Candy Cane Booty.
Mystery solved – so now I knew where all the free candy canes that were given along the parade route come from – this was the candy stash.
And I had just emerged at the Christie staging place for the Santa Parade, otherwise known for the nearby park, as Christie Pits. Even at 10:30AM there was already a big crowd of people gathered either to join their float team or meet their fellow band members or simply to watch all the goings on prior to and as the parade got started.
But the next thing I noticed was the sound of a marching band playing some Santa Tunes in their pre-parade warm-ups. They were very good.
Attica NY High School Band toots their horns..
Christie Pits is the perfect starting place for the Santa Parade because the big park allows the bands [and there were over 20 this year] to spread out and do some practicing on their latest tunes:
University of Western Ontario Band practicing near the Christie baseball diamond
But what really caught my sense of humor was all the UofT Engineering Band members enjoying the wait by taking their turns on the kids playground – swings, merry-go-round, even a few on the monkeybars. Now this is a band that knows how to relax and have fun.
University of Toronto band members at play.
The Santa parade marchers were not to be outdone in the scramble for fun. Lots of paraders were chatting around, posing for pictures and even playing a prank or two as they waited for the parade to get started.
Fun Foursome just off pranks.
The paraders that seemed to be getting the most attention and comments were the gals dressed up as grapes. Now Christie is in the Italian and Portuguese section of the city – so that may account for some of the interest; but the costumes had a certain comically bulbous flair. You be the judge:
Check that wing span!
But the most impressive group at the parade was the Toronto Police Horseman’s Squad. When they came galloping by to get in position just at the start of the parade – everybody heard and felt the shudders of the horse coming by. Even at a casual gallop, this was an impressive display.
One can now really imagine a Calvary Charge from days gone by.
I thought coming down 2 hours early would give me plenty of time to get lots of pictures – not so. The parade goers are spread out over so much area and the chance to chat with friends quickly robs time. So next year I promise to get a picture of the premier player – Santa.