Santa Claus comes to town

Mitch MacDonald
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Santa Claus made an early trip to P.E.I. over the weekend.

The jolly man in red was on the last float Saturday at the 13th annual Christmas Parade in Charlottetown and didn’t disappoint the thousands that lined the streets to see him.

A police spokesperson told The Guardian there were 5,000 plus spectators for the parade, which began at UPEI before making its way down University Avenue, then onto Grafton and West Streets before ending at the Provincial Government buildings.

The parade’s theme remained the same as previous years with “Feel the magic of the season.”

The magic of the season wasn’t hard to find Saturday, with approximately 100 floats of different sizes and colors filling up the streets with cheerful Christmas music and bright lights.

Those streets were also lit up by the smiling faces of families and children enthusiastically waving to the floats passing by.

“Where’s Santa?” was undoubtedly the most asked question of the night, with eager children anxiously waiting his arrival.

While they had to wait for Saint Nick, who was on the final and most grandiose float of the evening, Canada Post workers in the parade collected many children’s letters for Santa, while others handed out candy canes.

Those letters are being mailed to the North Pole, as Santa said he wouldn’t have time to read through all of them while in Charlottetown.

While Santa was the highlight of the night, ooohs and ahhs filled the crowd when many of the floats passed by, with K-Rock 105.5 and Ocean 100 winning the award for best overall float, while the Town of Cornwall took home the most original and creative award.

Members of the HMCS Charlottetown served as parade marshals, while donations of non-perishable food items were collected from volunteers at the parade for the Upper Room Food Bank.

Mike MacDonald, food bank manager, said donations were expected to exceed last year, with much of that owing to the better parade weather than last year.

“We were lucky this year with the great weather and lots of people lining the streets,” said MacDonald.

Donations for the food bank have been collected at the parade for about six years said MacDonald.

Another spokesperson for the food bank said the donations were still being counted Sunday night.

After the parade, Santa also made a stop at the Charlottetown Mall.

The parade and mall weren't Santa’s only stops on P.E.I. during the weekend.

He was also present Friday evening at the opening of Wintertide at Province House when hundreds celebrated the official kick-off of the 27th annual Holiday Festival.

Crowds walked up from Great George Street with candles and glowsticks, while others listened to Christmas carols and saw the holiday lights display come on for the first time, decorating the entire street and Province House grounds.

The Wintertide Festival involves legislature buildings across Canada being lit up a month before Christmas.

Those holiday lights spread down Great George Street where the Children’s Wish Foundation held its annual Christmas Tree Lane competition earlier in the day.

A total of 36 trees were decorated in support of the Foundation and will give the street a festive look for the next month.

A complete list of Wintertide events is available on the City of Charlottetown’s website and in today’s edition of The Guardian.

 

 

Following is a list of awards handed out at the parade.

 

Best Christmas Theme - Parkdale Sherwood Lions Club

Top Choir/Band - 148 Army Cadets

Best School - Colonel Gray SADD

Best Church - Winsloe United Church

Best Fire - Mount Stewart Fire Department

Best First Time Entry - Brookvale Ski Provincial Park

Crowd's Choice - PEI Legion Color Party

Best Costume - Greyhound Adoption

Holiday Spirit Award - The Brick

Best Overall Float – K-Rock 105.5 and Ocean 100

Most Original and Creative – Town of Cornwall

 

Organizations: CadetsBest School, SADDBest Church, First Time Canada Post The Guardian

Geographic location: Charlottetown, West Streets, Cornwall Mount Stewart Brookvale

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  • Chelle -Jarvis-Brown
    November 26, 2011 - 23:49

    Wishing You'All a blessed, Merry Christmas and that fun was had for every individual fortunate enough to have participated in and as a spectator feeling the glee and good cheer of The 2011 Ch'town Santa Claus Parade. Wish I was there with you. When Your opening your Wallets and Purses at The Mall & Uptown open Your hearts. Please remember the less fortunate on Your Christmas shopping List This Christ mas. A Less fortunate family member, freind, or a complete stranger. You'll be forever remembered, be blessed and with me as it will with You make you feel good to help Others as we would appreciate to be helped if we were in their position. This year though funds are tight struggling to live with Cancer. So far I was able to get 7, $20 Soby's gift certificates through Air Miles, a Boston Bruins jacket for a Teen and Empire Theatre passes and a couple of Christmas Daddies Calenders for gifts and as I've done for 30 plus years donated to The Salvation Army. My Christmas present to myself knowing I will have helped put smiles on peoples faces, with Others, helped to make their Christmas a tad brighter. The grocery gift certificates, theatre passes & NHL jacket I'll personally deliver, here in the Tri_Town area of Lunenburg Co., NS, where I'm sadly stuck due to health reasons. Donation to The Salvation Army works in conjunction with Christmas Daddies. The Gift of Giving has made me feel happier than I've been in a long while and that helps with the pain & and #1 - it's a positive example to pass on to my Teen too. Oh how I wish I could afford to go home to The Island this Christmas, I'll be thinking of You'all, recalling the many happy Christmas's of years gone past everytime I hear, "I'll Be Home For Christmas." Oh, how I wish . . . before the inevitable . . . God Bless Us Everyone - Merry Christmas to All and to All a 'good' night!

    • Re - Chelle -Jarvis-Brown
      November 27, 2011 - 16:39

      God Bless you Chelle -Jarvis-Brown , I hope you will be completely cured for cancer. Merry Christmas !!!