County of Brant families will get their first glimpse of Santa Claus this Christmas season when he rides his sleigh into downtown Paris on Saturday night.
“It’s great for the kids,” said Paris Santa Claus Parade organizer Ed McGuire. “We’re hoping for some snow because it gives it a more wintery atmosphere.”
The annual Paris Santa Claus Parade will kick off at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Organizers expect up to 3,000 people to watch from along the parade route.
The parade will begin at the Branch 29 Royal Canadian Legion on William Street, cross the William Street bridge, wind its way down Grand River Street North to Mechanic Street and then travel north on West River Street before wrapping up back on William Street.
Streets included on the parade route will be closed to traffic beginning at 5:45 p.m. and re-open at about 7 p.m.
This year’s parade theme is “Holly Jolly Christmas.” The event is expected to include about 40 floats created by local schools, businesses, churches and other organizations, McGuire said.
“There is a lot of volunteer work that goes into this,” he said.
The Ayr-Paris Band and the United Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps will perform during the parade. County of Brant OPP, Brant-Brantford Crime Stoppers and Kiwanis Club members will collect donations of food and toys for local food banks and the Paris Christmas Hampers program.
This year’s Paris Santa Claus Parade is sponsored by Hoog’s Installations and Paris Jewellers.
The communities of Burford and St. George will both host Santa Claus parades a week after Paris on Dec. 8.
Burford’s parade will begin at 5 p.m. on Potter Drive, travel through the village and end at the Burford Fairgrounds.
St. George’s parade will begin at 6 p.m. The parade will travel south on Scott Avenue, turn left on Beverly Street West, travel east on High Street to Main Street, west on Andrew Street and end at the South Dumfries Community Centre.