Get Ready for Festive Fun: Santa Claus Parades in Toronto and the Durham Region

The holiday season is just around the corner, and what better way to kick off the festivities than by attending a Santa Claus parade? These heartwarming events bring communities together, spreading cheer and joy to people of all ages. In the next two months, there are several Santa Claus parades scheduled in Toronto and the Durham Region that you won't want to miss. Let's take a closer look at what's in store:

1. Dates and Times

Mark your calendars for the following Santa Claus parades:

  • Bowmanville Santa Claus Parade on November 18th at 10:30 am. The parade will wind through downtown Bowmanville along King St. Learn more.

  • Santa’s Parade of Lights in Oshawa on November 18th at 6:00 pm. The parade route starts at King St. and Stevenson Rd. Learn more.

  • Santa’s Spectacle of Lights in Ajax on November 25th at 6:00 pm. The parade kicks off at Bayly St. and Mackenzie Ave. and ends at Ajax Town Hall. Learn more.

  • Pickering Santa Claus Parade on November 25th at 10:00 am. Beginning at Dixie and Glenanna and ending in Pickering’s City Centre.

  • Downtown Toronto's Original Santa Claus Parade on November 26th at 12:30 pm, celebrating its 119th year with a new route. You can watch it on CTV. Learn more.

  • Port Perry Scugog Santa Claus Parade on December 2nd at 5:00 pm. The parade theme is "Christmas Movies." Learn more.

  • Whitby Santa Claus Parade on December 2nd at 10:00 am. The route runs through the heart of downtown Whitby. Learn more.

2. Unique Features and Themes

One of the highlights of this year's parades is the Scugog Santa Claus Parade's exciting theme, "Christmas at the Movies." Attendees can look forward to seeing floats inspired by their favorite holiday films. [Find movie inspiration here]

Pickering’s parade theme is Holiday Storytime, where groups are invited to represent pop culture or cultural stories about the holidays in their float design. 

3. Getting Involved

You can get involved in these parades as a spectator or participant. Many events accept donations to fund the parade or support local charities. If you're interested in participating, consider entering a float or volunteering as a marcher, marshal, or crowd supervisor. Check the parade's website for details on how to get involved.

4. Notable Sponsors and Organizations

These parades are not only a celebration of the holiday spirit but also an opportunity for community organizations and businesses to showcase themselves. For example, the Whitby Santa Claus Parade is organized by the Optimist Club of Brooklin and features over 50 organizations spreading holiday joy along the route.

5. Popular Traditions

Kids will be delighted to receive candy canes from costumed characters, local firefighters, and parade participants. These events also showcase a wide array of community organizations, from dance troupes to sports teams, allowing you to see how you can get involved in your local community.

6. Historical Facts

Did you know that the Toronto Santa Claus Parade has a rich history, running for an impressive 119 years? Even during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the parade continued virtually, maintaining its tradition of spreading holiday joy.

7. Parade Day Tips

As you prepare to attend these parades, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Dress appropriately for the weather.

  • Bring blankets or lawn chairs for seating.

  • Consider bringing non-perishable food donations to support local charities.

  • Don't forget to bring a letter for Santa!

  • Pack snacks and warm beverages to keep everyone in your group comfortable during the parade.

So, whether you're in Toronto or the Durham Region, these Santa Claus parades are sure to get you into the holiday spirit. Bundle up, gather your loved ones, and head out to enjoy the festive floats, holiday music, and the magic of Santa himself. Make this holiday season unforgettable with the joy of a Santa Claus parade!

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