Toronto Santa Claus Parade

Santa Claus came to Toronto Sunday last week. and a lot of people had a great  good time. Sign of the times – in 2013 the Toronto Police requested that the parade be expanded to accommodate more attendees  estimated at  half a million people. And this year the weather was mild and the holiday ingredients were right – marching bands, the police in red nose garbs and lots of kids of every age either going for a HoHo Holiday 5K run or waiting to watch the parade. And of course there were lots of floats and marching paraders.

Marching Bands

A parade is really not a parade without marching bands. At first this reviewer scoffed at such a notion, but after 20 years of Santa Claus Parades with marching Bands its easy to totally agree. And the Santa Clause Parade invites band across Toronto, Ontario and into the States to add dash to the Parade.

Bands gather in Christie Pits
Drums and cymbals of marching bands
McMaster University Band from Hamilton
Joseph Scollard Bears from North Bay
St Michaels Band from Toronto
Uof T Engineering Band
Attica High from New Y ork starts the Parade
The gathering of the bands at Christie Pits adds to the parade adventure for many early arrivers.

Police in Red Noses

Every year the police are a quiet presence at the the Parade making sure traffic gets rerouted, helping out along the route and posing for parade-time pictures.  This year the Toronto Police celebrated the parade with  a display of police cars through the years, a platoon of horse mounted officers, and a motorcycle Vanguard of red-nosed officers. See for yourselves:

Motorcycles at Bloor and Christie
Mounted Police
Mugshot of the Troopers
Revving up to Go
Motorcycle Troop

Kids and Chalk

Of course for the Santa Claus Parade, one vital ingredient is kids. And they were everywhere.  This year every family seemed to have a tablet or camera phone to take Kid Pixs. Also, most families arrive an hour before the parade starts to secure a good vantage point. So to keep the kids amused and engrossed the city provides chalk for some creative street drawings and the kids are more than equal to the task. Finally a few kids got to be a part of the parade.

Portrait with Mr. Peanut
Family picture
One of hundreds of street artists
More chalk works of art
Portrait next to Blue Jays Float
Live portrait during parade
Selfie before the Fun Run
Lineup of Kids featured on a float
So Kids of all ages make for a Good Parade. Just look at the costumes shown by the HoHo Holiday 5K Runners previewing the parade:
Start of the HoHo Holiday 5K Run
30 Minutes before the start of the Parade
Some serious running talent
And Mr and Mrs Claus in full stride
Movin along
Red Caps coming in force
Running on the Kids chalk drawings
Out into the Sun
Another wave of runners
Lots of gals running
Love those socks
Running in and out of the sunshine
Didn;t we Mr. and Mrs. Claus running by earlier?
Love that Walrus!
Now as you can see  the Santa Claus Parade’s HoHo Holiday Run is truly a 5K Fun Run.

Floats and Paraders

The Toronto Santa Claus Parade has a 111 year history stretching back to 1904 when Eatons sponsored the first parade with Santa Claus sleigh being the one float moving up from Union Station to the Eatons Store on College. Floats started appearing in numbers with Mother Goose being the lead float:
See full story of parade history at CBC Kids

So pride of position means  Mother Goose leads the parade this year:

And this year the floats and their accompanying  Christmas paraders added great color and style:

Kids were running out to get their pictures taken with paraders or their favorite float. A big  favorite float was Thomas Train:scwaitthomas scwaitthomas2

But of course the real highlight was Santa in full reindeer flight. 

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