10:30 a.m., Nov. 25)
turnout to welcome St. Nick to Orléans
By Fred Sherwin
holiday season has officially begun with the arrival of
Santa Claus at the Place d'Òrleans mall on Saturday
followed by Santa's Parade of Lights Saturday evening during
which the man in red was greeted by tens of thousands of
people who lined the parade route.
waves to his many young fans lining the St.
Joseph Blvd. on Saturday night for the parade
of lighths. Fred Sherwin/Photo
the threat of freezing rain hanging over the parade for
most of the day, the crowd seemed rather sparse less than
half an hour before the official 6 p.m. start time. But
within 30 minutes dozens turned into hundreds and eventually
thousands by the time the procession started down St.
Joseph Boulevard from it's traditional starting point
at Youville Drive.
crowd at Forest Valley and St. Joseph was 10 and 12 people
deep with everyone in the Christmas Spirit as float after
float passed by along with members of the Ottawa Firefighters
Association who collected donations of toys and cash for
families dealing with financial hardship at this time
present were super heroes like Spiderman and Thor, Disney
characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and every
manner of parade participant, including Orléans
MPP Marie-France Lalonde who opted to hand out miniature
candy canes to eager children rather than ride in her
were Grinches, three to be exact, including two behind
bars, multiple fire trucks; an OC Transpo bus with the
front made up to look like Santa; several marching bands;
two rock bands; a fleet of bicycles festooned in lights;
a (Garlic) King; a boat towing a water skier on roller
blades; and a group of enthusiastic gnomes. And everywhere
there were lights, thousands and thousands of multi-coloured
lights which give the parade it's name.
at the end of it all was Santa Claus, the man of the hour
who eveyone was waiting for... and he didn't disappoint.
Perched atop his bright red sled, he waved to everyone
along the four kilometre route including the Davis family
from Orléans who haven't missed a parade in eight
moved here in October 2010 and haven't missed a parade
since," says Jim Davis. "The kids love it.".
Jesse Davis is an old pro when it comes to the parade
of lights. Not surprisingly Santa is his favourite part.
His nine-year-old sister Sara is also a big St. Nick fan,
but she likes all the lights as well.
pretty," the youngster said when asked what she likes
most about the parade.
year's Parade of Lights raised thousands of dollars for
the Help Santa Toy Drive which is organized and run by
the Salvation Army. Through local parades and their Toy
Mountain campaign, the organization was able to make sure
that 18,000 children were able to have a merry Christmas
toys are collected and sorted by hundreds of volunteers
based on their age appropriateness and then delivered
to food banks and community resource centres across the
city including the Orléans Cumberland Community
Resource Centre and the Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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