9:30 p.m., Nov. 29)
Huge crowds come out for Santas Parade of Lights
By Fred Sherwin
Claus waves at the crowds along St. Joseph
Blvd. during the Parade of lights on Saturday.
of people lined St. Joseph Boulevard on Saturday night
for the annual Parade of Lights Christmas parade featuring
the jolly old elf himself, Santa Claus.
crowds were among the biggest in recent memory with people
lined up five and six deep along the entire route. The
parade featured 76 entries, including four fire trucks,
two horses, four ponies, two marching bands, a dozen or
so mascots, two Grinches and a steady stream of mulit-coloured
floats were acccompanied by members of the Ottawa Firefighters
Association who collected monetary donations and toys
along the parade route which will be turned over to the
Salvation Army and eventually into the hands of children
in the past, this years parade included floats 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 route from Youville Drive to Place dOrléans,
and especially in the faces of the children who grew more
excited with each passing float.
the parade participants was École secondaire Louis-Riel,
École élémentaire lOdysée,
the Bilberry Baptist Church, the 632 Air Cadets, École
élémentaire Etoile de lEst, the Gloucester
Tumblers and École de Danse Louise.
float even featured the Grinch behind bars which drew
both jeers and cheers.
the loudest cheers were reserved for the 77th and last
entry, Santa himself. Resplendent in his red suit trimmed
in white fur, 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, Santas Parade
of Lights is an annual tradition. For others, like John
and Louise Davidson who brought their three-year-old daughter
Madison to the parade for the first time, its a
tradition in the making.
is our first time, said Louise. Ive
been to the Ottawa parade with my two nieces before, but
this is much better. Theres a much stronger sense
of community. Were 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
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 the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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