Santa Claus knows Christmas spirit – and he knows that Brantford has lots of it.
“Brantford is one of my favourite stops in all of the world because they care,” Santa said during an exclusive interview with Brant News. “The people of Brantford care about Christmas spirit. They show it in their eyes, they show it in their love for their neighbours.
“When Santa comes here, Santa knows it’s special.”
Jolly Old St. Nick will make a pre-Christmas stop in Brantford as the star of the 38th annual JCI Santa Claus Parade on Saturday.
“I will be getting off my float (after the parade) and letting the boys and girls come up and say hello to me and I look forward to that,” Santa said. “This is a good time to nudge my memory and remind me what it is they would like to see under the Christmas tree.”
This theme of this year’s parade is Toys Alive – something Santa said he is very excited about.
“The irony of that is that’s what I live with up in the North Pole,” he said. “All my toys are alive and now they are coming to Brantford.”
About 40 floats, seven bands from across Ontario and representatives from Brantford Police Service and Brantford Fire Department will join Santa as he makes his way along Colborne Street starting at Second Avenue and proceeds along Dalhousie Street during the parade, which kicks off at 6 p.m.
This year, there is a change in the parade route. Floats will no longer pass by Victoria Park, but instead continue along Dalhousie Street to Harmony Square for the Toys Come Alive Santa Claus Parade After Party.
Starting at 8 p.m., attendees can meet with Santa, take part in an official Christmas tree lighting and listen to live music. And don’t forget to wear your Abominable Snowman hat, found in last week’s Brant News. Those wearing the hat will be treated to free face painting.
“The Santa Claus Parade is the official start to the holiday season in Brantford,” said Michelle Miller, who co-chairs the parade along with James Hood. “This is the first chance to see Santa in the city and it’s a fun night for everyone. Who doesn’t like lights and music and free candy handed out?”
As he kicks off the Christmas season in Brant, Santa has one message for all residents, young and old.
“Please tell everybody from Brantford, regardless of the age of children, from two to 82, tell them, please enjoy Christmas. Enjoy the good feelings and the positive attitude of the Christmas season.”
Brant News is teaming up with Community Resource Service to collect non-perishable food items along the parade route. Look for
Brant MP Phil McColeman and MPP Dave Levac pushing shopping carts to be filled with donations.
JCI is still looking for sponsors for the parade. Anyone interested can call 519-761-2574 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.jcibrantford.ca for more parade information.
And if you can’t make it out to see Santa in person, catch the parade live on RogersTV beginning at 6:30 p.m. Encore presentations of the parade will air on Sunday, Nov. 25, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.