What makes for a good parade? A sleigh with Santa Claus certainly helps. But surely there are some other ingredients to add to the fun and enjoyment of a parade winding through the downtown streets of Toronto from Christie and Bloor over to Avenue Road which chimerally changes to Queens Park Circle and then University Avenue. But this latter stretch is doubly wide , is served directly by the subway and has more than enough room for the nearly 1/2 million parade watchers on this Indian Summer warm November Sunday. So a good location and route certainly helps the atmosphere.
Kids and Chalk
Of course for the Santa Claus Parade, one vital ingredient is kids. This year every family seemed to have a tablet or camera phone to take Kid Pixs. Also, most families arrive an hour before the parade starts to secure a good vantage point. So to keep the kids amused and engrossed the city provides chalk for some creative street drawings and the kids are more than equal to the task. Finally a few kids got to be a part of the parade.
Running in the Santa Clause parade is double the fun because you get cheered all the way plus you also get to come back and watch all of the parade.
Floats and Paraders
The Toronto Santa Claus Parade has a 111 year history stretching back to 1904 when Eatons sponsored the first parade with Santa Claus sleigh being the one float moving up from Union Station to the Eatons Store on College. Floats started appearing in numbers with Mother Goose being the lead float:
See full story of parade history at CBC Kids
So pride of position means Mother Goose leads the parade this year:
And this year the floats and their accompanying Christmas paraders added great color and style:
Kids were running out to get their pictures taken with paraders or their favorite float. My favorite float was Thomas Train:
But of course the real secret ingredient is Santa: