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Volunteers prepare floats for Windsor’s 54th Annual Santa Claus Parade

This year's theme for the annual Windsor Santa Clause Parade is 'finding the magic in Christmas.' The event includes a scavenger hunt at local businesses. (Windsor Parade Corporation/Facebook - image credit)
Volunteers are busy preparing the floats for Windsor, Ont.’s 54th Annual Santa Claus Parade. 

At 6 p.m. ET on Dec. 3, the parade starts at Devonshire Road and will make its way west along Wyandotte Street East to Alymer Avenue.

The theme for this year’s parade is “find the magic of Christmas,” and has included a scavenger hunt that began early November and ends on Dec. 15.

Visitors can arrive earlier, at 3 p.m. and enjoy the parade’s new Fan Zone, which will have games, kids’ activities, refreshments and live music.

Float volunteers ‘are a family’

Maggie Durocher, executive director of the Windsor Parade Corporation, has been with the Santa Claus Parade for almost 30 years, and said many of the volunteers have been with it for as long or longer.

“It’s a fantastic group and we are a family,” she said.

And some floats, Durocher said, have been in the parade since she started.

Josiah Sinanan/CBC
“Some of these floats have been with us for a very long time,” she said, adding the Santa’s workshop float has been in the parade since 1995. 

But that doesn’t mean parade-goers see the same floats every Christmas.

“Every year we upgrade them and upgrade them because you want to keep them relevant,” Durocher said.

Josiah Sinanan/CBC
Volunteer Diane Lago said she has been working on the floats for just a week and will be one of Santa’s elves in next week’s parade. 

She said her favourite float is Santa’s workshop.

“It really looks like a workshop. It feels like I’m there with Santa,” she said.

This year, Durocher said her favourite float is the fire and ice float.

“It’s a beautiful float, but it has a story. That float is dedicated to Dennis Jones, who was a very, very dedicated volunteer of ours, and he passed away late this summer ”

Other Christmas parades and events

Windsor Parade Company will also bring their floats to two more parades in the region.

They will be in Amherstburg for the annual Santa Claus Parade on Saturday (Nov. 26), starting at 6 p.m on Sandwich Street South. On Dec. 10, they will be at the Essex BIA Santa Claus Parade, starting at 6:30 p.m on Fairview Avenue West and Talbot Street North.

Emeryville Community Holiday Parade will take place on Dec. 2, starting at 5:30 p.m. at city hall.

LaSalle is hosting a pancake breakfast with Santa and the mayor on Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the city’s new Event Centre.

Leamington’s Christmas Parade will take place on Dec. 10, starting at 6 p.m., beginning on Georgia Avenue.

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