Kiwanis Club of Owen Sound Announces Details of their 76th Consecutive Santa Claus Parade
Owen Sound: The Kiwanis Club of Owen Sound is excited to announce the return of the Owen Sound Santa Claus Parade. This will be the 76th consecutive year of the Club's commitment to making the community a better place for children (of all ages!) by producing one of the holiday season’s signature events.
Last year the Club could only host a stationary parade that saw hundreds of families drive through the Bayshore Community Centre parking lot to welcome St. Nick to Owen Sound. This year marks the return of the more familiar parade.
“We never imagined a year without some sort of celebration" said club past president Andrew Drury. “We knew that the parade was important to families, and staging a drive-through event showed us just how much. At the time it was the best we could do, but this year allows us to go back to our traditional route."
The Kiwanis Club first sponsored the Owen Sound Santa Claus Parade in 1945, and has put on each one since. This year’s parade will be on Saturday, November 20th and will help ring in the festive season with bands, floats and activities for families to enjoy. In recognition of the 76th anniversary of the parade, this year's theme is "Back to the Past".
“People throughout Grey and Bruce have sacrificed a lot through the pandemic to keep our community safe,” said club president Jim McManaman. “Our hope is that with their continued support, we'll be able to host an outdoor event that allows families to enjoy something that has been a part of our community for 76 years."
The parade is being organized with the input of the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit, and will proceed only if the conditions are right at the time.
"Our Club is committed to the well-being of residents in our region," said Jim. "For this parade to be safe and successful, we will need everyone's cooperation to meet distance and masking requirements. We have to protect Santa's health!"
One significant change for this year's parade is that the start time has been moved to 5:00 pm.
"Last year's evening event really let people show some creativity with their lighting and it really seemed to add to the excitement," said Parade Committee Chair Tim Brown. "So this year we thought we'd start a little later and let participants show off a little!"
The change in time will also tie in to the City of Owen Sound's kick off of the Festival of Northern Lights immediately after, so families can attend each event if they choose.
"We' re excited to partner with the City in their celebration," said Tim. "It also means that Santa can 'flip-the-switch' and light the lights."
This year will also feature two local celebrities as a part of the festivities: Heather Hiscox and Fred Wallace. Heather was born and raised in Owen Sound and is now a well known CBC news anchor and former Miss Teen Canada. Fred is a local media personality who is especially well known to sports enthusiasts in our region. Each will help bring in the holiday season.
As the parade date gets closer, more details will be released about community guidelines including how children can bring letters to Santa or how to make donations to the Salvation Army Food Drive.
“We know this year will look different than other years,” concluded Jim. “But we hope that as we celebrate our 76th year, it becomes a new memory for us to share in the years ahead."
Date: Saturday, November 20th
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: Downtown Owen Sound
Route: Begins near the intersection of 11th Street East & 2nd Avenue East (Metro Grocery Store), travels south toward City Hall and turns east (left) at the intersection of 8th Street East and 2nd Avenue East, ending at 3rd Avenue East.
For more details or to register to participate, visit owensoundsantaparade.com. All registrations will be done online this year.
Families are also reminded that the Owen Sound Kiwanis Club will be selling Christmas Trees again this year beginning November 27th. Proceeds from the sales of trees will support the activities and community contributions by the Kiwanis Club.