There was a new sheriff in town when the 2017 Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade rolled through downtown Winnipeg Saturday.

Four-year-old Preston Burns took over the reins as chief of police for the day while members of the force took part in the annual parade down Portage Avenue.

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"Technically he can [tell me what to do] and he has a couple times already," laughed deputy chief Gord Perrier of his new boss for the day as the pair got ready for the parade. "Thankfully it was good things like let's have a pizza lunch and let's go see the Santa Claus Parade. 

"He's a tremendous young man and I think this'll be a day he'll remember for a long time."

'I'm going to catch bad guys'

Preston has been diagnosed with cancer and got the chance to be chief through the Dream Factory, a charitable organization dedicated to fulfilling dreams for kids who are battling life-threatening illnesses.

"He was granted a wish and not only is he the police chief for the day, but he's also going to Disney World for his fifth birthday," says his mom, Connie Burns, who spent the day with Preston at police headquarters while he ran the show. "He spent the whole day there, they took him through the whole building, he saw the dogs, they went into the press room — everything he could do he did."

The energetic four-year-old said his favourite part of the day was getting to meet the police dogs, and after spending the day sitting in the chief's office he knew exactly what he would do with his power.

"I'm going to catch bad guys," he said with a grin as he headed off to join the Winnipeg police's Santa Claus Parade float.

Here's a look at all the floats and fun of the 2017 Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade: