With the weather getting colder and a few white flakes falling from the sky, it’s beginning to look a lot like Santa Claus Parade time.
That’s right, the Grand Forks and District Santa Claus Parade is going through downtown on Friday, Dec. 5 starting at Selkirk College at 7 p.m.
The parade route will go down 72nd Avenue, turn left on Second Street, turn up Market Avenue and then end at Gyro Park where new mayor Frank Konrad will officially light the city’s Christmas tree.
“We’re going to have a tree light-up ceremony where our new mayor will welcome everyone and turn the lights on,” said James Wilson, executive director of the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce and one of the event coordinators. “We’ll have hot dogs, hot chocolate and things to do for the kids. We’ll also have burn barrels which are taken care of by the fire department.”
Wilson said he expects it to be a great event for families and anyone else.
“It’ll great for people with kids or just anyone to come on down and enjoy the Santa Claus Parade and the light-up festival.”
Wilson said they are encouraging businesses to sponsor a tree. “There will be about 10 trees that will also be decorated by businesses and displayed throughout the winter,” he said. “It should be quite beautiful. As you drive through town you’ll see the big tree lit up and you’ll see about 10 little trees lit up at Gyro Park.”
Head parade organizer Beverly Osachoff said preparations are going well for this year’s version of the parade which will have the theme, “Not a creature was stirring…”
“We’re very excited to be adding some new things to our most popular parade event,” she said. “This year the city and chamber are going to be doing a tree -ighting ceremony. We’ve changed the route slightly to accommodate that.”
Osachoff said the parade is a great way to kick off the holiday season.
“It’s going to be a beautiful event,” she said. “We’re always excited to do it because it seems to be everybody’s favourite parade event of the year. It’s always nice to have some cheesy fun in the middle of the dark, cold winter.”
The downtown business association sponsors the parade, while the Boundary Regional Chamber of Commerce and the City of Grand Forks sponsor the light up.
Thanks to the sponsorship of the downtown businesses, entry to the parade is free, said Osachoff.
“That enable us to keep it free for anybody who wants to participate,” she said. “Of course, everyone is welcome. We love to encourage any individual, group, business, come one, come all.”
Osachoff said there will be prizes awarded for the best entries.
“You get extra points for following the theme,” she said. “The judges love that. The theme of the parade is ‘not a creature was stirring…’ We love to see creativity. Lots of lights, bling and music always wins extra favour with the judges. The idea is for people to come out and have some free family fun and support our downtown businesses. (Businesses) will be open late for shopping.”
Santa will, of course, be the big star of the parade and he will making the trek from the North Pole to take his place in the parade.
People can find out more information at the parade’s Facebook page.
Anyone interested in entering the parade can request a registration form at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Beverly at 250-442-9662.