Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Toronto's 109th Annual Santa Claus Parade - November 17th

Santa Claus Parade LogoA chill has definitely hit the air; I've pulled the mittens and hats out of storage; and it's time to think about Christmas. For many in the GTA, the official start of the holiday season comes with the arrival of Santa Claus for the annual Toronto Santa Claus Parade. This event is the largest children’s parade in North America and the largest outdoor entertainment event held in Canada every year. Mrs. Claus will be joining the parade again this year, so she's clearly been enjoying these trips to our city. It was lovely to see her again at the media event I attended last week. (I had the chance to interview Mrs. Claus last year this time.)

Many of the floats were still under construction last week when we visited the secret workshop. Santa's helpers were hard at work building and decorating while we milled around and took it all in. These will be stunning as always when they hit the parade route on Sunday!

“So much thought, dedication, and hard-work goes into creating the Santa Claus Parade floats each year,” says Alf Iannarelli, Santa Claus Parade General Manager and Creative Director. “It’s such a special moment seeing the floats come to life for the crowds to enjoy on Parade day.”

Here are just a few peeks at the wonders I saw in the workshop:

And look whom I spied on one of the floats in progress!
Disney's Frozen
I usually watch the parade on TV, but this year we may make the trek downtown to enjoy it in person. It does get crowded along the sidewalks, so you need to arrive early to secure your spot. And before you head down, check out some of the fun Santa Claus Parade apps that are highlighted on their website. Be sure not to miss Santa's arrival when you use the "SantaParade" app. This app allows you to track Santa's progress along the parade route, as well as ring jingle bells by shaking your phone as he drives by. (Available on the AppStore.) And add some fun to your parade photos (or any photos) with "Santa Snaps." This app gives you a variety of 3D objects and characters to add a playful touch to your photos, like Rudolph noses, mistletoe, and elves. (Available on the AppStore and GooglePlay.)

The 109th Toronto Santa Claus Parade will begin at 12:30 pm on November 17, at Bloor and Christie, then run along Bloor to University, travelling down University to Wellington and ending at the intersection of Front and Jarvis Streets at the St. Lawrence Market. The Parade will be broadcast that same day, at 4:30 pm EST on CTV (5:30-7 p.m. AST on CTV Two Atlantic) if, like me, viewing from home is a better option.

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