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VIDEO: Santa Claus makes his debut at the Charlottetown Christmas Parade

Amber Ralph brought her daughters, who are five- and eight-years-old, to see Santa Claus on Great George Street on Sunday night.

They wanted to give their Christmas letters to him, listing out all the presents they would like to receive for being good all year.

“They wanted to send them up to the North Pole and say hi to his elves too,” said Ralph.

“We started this tradition with our oldest daughter, so it is our own family tradition and we keep it going.”

Ralph and her family try to make it to as many Charlottetown Christmas Parades as they can.

It is those memories, Ralph added, of this tradition that children will cherish beyond the gifts they might receive on Christmas morning.

“The parade seems to get a little bit bigger each year,” said Ralph.

Tahani Salamih wanted to come with her children to see the parade first-hand.

Originally from Jordan, she has never seen a Christmas parade before.

“We wanted to enjoy the experience,” said Salmih, who is on the Island, doing a two-year master’s in education at UPEI.

On Sunday, Slamih said it was great to see such a big crowd take in the parade and so many children who wanted to take part.

“It is something good, for the new generation.”

Residents lined the parade route, which started at the top of University Avenue and concluded at the end of Great George St. in downtown Charlottetown, as children played along the small snowbanks piled high by plows on Saturday.

Many children waved with their parents as members of the P.E.I. Regiment, local fire departments, Island Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the local businesses like provincial government buildings on West Street.

Many of the floats and vehicles in the parade were decked out in colourful lights and decorations. Some had loud speakers blaring Christmas music while others had Christmas characters like the Grinch and Snoopy.

Nicholas Brown said he doesn’t normally come to the Christmas Parade, but wanted to come with his girlfriend this year.

“We haven’t seen the parade in a couple of years, so it is kind of exciting,” he said.

“I used to come as a kid and watch it. (It) brings back memories.”

Brown said he thought the parade was good for Charlottetown and it brought residents together.

“I think it is good to have a tradition like this and keep it going… What’s the point of having a tradition if you are going to change it,” he said.

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