Santa Claus came to Toronto Sunday last week. and a lot of people had a great good time. Sign of the times – in 2013 the Toronto Police requested that the parade be expanded to accommodate more attendees estimated at half a million people. And this year the weather was mild and the holiday ingredients were right – marching bands, the police in red nose garbs and lots of kids of every age either going for a HoHo Holiday 5K run or waiting to watch the parade. And of course there were lots of floats and marching paraders.
A parade is really not a parade without marching bands. At first this reviewer scoffed at such a notion, but after 20 years of Santa Claus Parades with marching Bands its easy to totally agree. And the Santa Clause Parade invites band across Toronto, Ontario and into the States to add dash to the Parade.
Police in Red Noses
Every year the police are a quiet presence at the the Parade making sure traffic gets rerouted, helping out along the route and posing for parade-time pictures. This year the Toronto Police celebrated the parade with a display of police cars through the years, a platoon of horse mounted officers, and a motorcycle Vanguard of red-nosed officers. See for yourselves:
Kids and Chalk
Of course for the Santa Claus Parade, one vital ingredient is kids. And they were everywhere. This year every family seemed to have a tablet or camera phone to take Kid Pixs. Also, most families arrive an hour before the parade starts to secure a good vantage point. So to keep the kids amused and engrossed the city provides chalk for some creative street drawings and the kids are more than equal to the task. Finally a few kids got to be a part of the parade.
Floats and Paraders
The Toronto Santa Claus Parade has a 111 year history stretching back to 1904 when Eatons sponsored the first parade with Santa Claus sleigh being the one float moving up from Union Station to the Eatons Store on College. Floats started appearing in numbers with Mother Goose being the lead float:
See full story of parade history at CBC Kids
So pride of position means Mother Goose leads the parade this year:
And this year the floats and their accompanying Christmas paraders added great color and style:
Kids were running out to get their pictures taken with paraders or their favorite float. A big favorite float was Thomas Train:
But of course the real highlight was Santa in full reindeer flight.