Time to Prepare For Santa Claus Parade
Although the leaves are still on the trees and Halloween decorations are just beginning to appear across Orillia and Lake Country, sleighbells are already in the air at the Orillia District Chamber of Commerce (ODCC). Planning for the 2022 Santa Claus Parade is well underway, and the ODCC’s Yuletide Committee is thrilled to be bringing back the event after a two-year hiatus. The parade has been a cherished tradition for families in the Orillia area for over 100 years and has long been known as one of the largest Santa Claus Parades outside of Toronto.
The parade will take place on Saturday, November 19, 2022. In an exciting new twist announced earlier this year, it will be an evening event allowing for the addition of dazzling light displays along with the familiar floats and music. The start time is set for 5 p.m. so that even the youngest spectators can enjoy the fun and be home in time for a Santa-approved bedtime. The route will be slightly different than that of previous years but will still be centred in downtown Orillia running mainly along Mississauga and Colborne Streets.
The ODCC’s Yuletide Committee is now calling on businesses and community organizations to register floats to make the parade bigger and brighter than ever. Registration is open to everyone, and there is no fee to participate.
The shift to an evening parade means that creating a float can be as easy as adorning a vehicle with colourful lights or using illuminated characters to design a vignette in the bed of a pickup truck. With the wide variety of prefabricated holiday decorations now available, a float could be put together in a matter of hours. Of course, participants are encouraged to go all-out if they have the time and resources, and as in previous years prizes will be awarded for the most spectacular entries.
The Orillia Santa Claus Parade normally has a theme each year such as movies or story books. This year, the committee has chosen not to designate a specific theme but instead is inviting participants to unleash their creativity in celebrating the return of the parade. This year’s event is all about illumination and coming together as a community. Floats do not have to be limited to Christmas-related themes: other winter celebrations and holidays, as well as winter sports and nature are welcome sources of inspiration.
There are a few rules and guidelines for floats. Most importantly, in the spirit of authenticity, no Santa impersonators are allowed! As has been the tradition with the Orillia Santa Claus Parade for many years, the only Santa permitted is St. Nick himself, who will appear on his own float at the end of the parade. In addition, all float entries must be registered in advance. Registered participants will receive a full outline of safety and liability requirements.
The Orillia Santa Claus parade is made possible through the support of our sponsors. To become a sponsor, please sign up online or contact the ODCC events team.
(Photo By Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia)
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