11:30 a.m., Dec. 1)
attend Parade of Lights to welcome St. Nick to Orléans
By Fred Sherwin
Some of the younger participants in this year's
Parade of Lights wave gigantic lollipops as
their float makes its way down St. Joseph
Blvd. Fred Sherwin/Photo
of people lined St. Joseph Boulevard on Saturday night
to take in Santa's Parade of Lights and welcome the jolly
old elf himself to Orléans.
crowds didn't seem to mind the temperature, which dipped
below -10 degrees, as a steady stream of mulit-lighted
floats drove by and Christmas music filled the air. Nor
did it prevent them from donating thousands of dollars
and hundreds of toys collected by members of the Ottawa
Professional Firefighters Association along the entire
length of the parade route.
year's parade included 80 entries with participation from
a number of local businesses, churches, high schools,
service clubs and youth groups.
entry was festooned with strings of multi-coloured lights
that were reflected in the faces of the crowd that lined
the entire length of the route from Youville Drive to
Place d'Orléans, especially the children whose
faces grew brighter with each passing float.
were entries from six different high schools including
last year's Grand Champion, Cairine Wilson Secondary School,
which this year adopted a Charlie Brown Christmas theme
with Snoopy's dog house as the centrepiece.
This year's Parade of Lights included an incarcerated
Grinch which drew loud cheers from the crowds
lining the route. Fred Sherwin/Photo
St. Peter, Gisele-Lalonde and Louis-Riel were each represented
by floats built and decorated by students. The 832 Air
Cadets and the 3018 Army Cadets also had strong entries
as did Ecole de Danse Louise, Abiding Word Lutheran Church,
Etoile de l'Est elementary school and Keller Williams
Ottawa Realty. One float even featured the Grinch behind
bars which drew both jeers and cheers.
the loudest cheers were reserved for the 80th and last
entry, Santa himself. Resplendent in his red suit trimmed
in white, St. Nick waved at the adoring children who all
waved back as he slowly made his way down St. Joseph.
many of the people who lined the route, Santa's Parade
of Lights is an annual tradition.
others like Lisa and Sean Lavictoire who brought their
three-year-old daughter Mackenzie to the parade for the
first time, it's a tradition in the making.
is our first time as a family, but we came once before
we got married," said Lisa. "I think it's amazing
with all the different floats and so many businesses taking
part. It really creates a great sense of community. We're
definitely coming back next year."
Santa was the star of the parade, the focus of the annual
event is to raise money and collect toys for the Salvation
Army which distributes them to financially challenged
families across the region.
of toys and tens of thousands of dollars have been collected
over the years, helping to make Christmas a little more
joyous for financially challenged families across the
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business
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