Santa's en route, and has a few extra helpers this year
Downtown St. John's parade is largest community event in the province
The 25th annual Downtown St. John's Christmas Parade is Sunday — and it looks like Santa Claus has a few more helpers this year.
Volunteers have spent countless hours selecting a theme and putting the floats together. Two of this year's floats are being built by prisoners of Her Majesty's Penitentiary.
It's the second time that the penitentiary and the John Howard Society have collaborated on the parade.
"They came to live in one of our residential programs and successfully completed their placement with us, and went on to find employment in the community," said Murphy.
The project gives the inmates a chance to learn a skill and give something back to the community.
Graham Rogerson, Supt. of Prisons, said it also gives those involved a chance to get into the Christmas spirit.
"It will be an opportunity to say, 'I have done something good here.' They know it's seen on television, and there's a lot of interest from the community in new floats," said Rogerson.
Parade not just about floats
In addition to the floats, volumes of people will walk the parade route on Sunday.
The local Filipino community is one of the groups participating.
Spokesperson LitoLibres said they're walking for a good reason.
Libres said his group wants to show St. John's how appreciative it is, for all the support received after Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippine Islands on Nov. 8.
"We will be walking together to symbolize our unity. We will be singing to express our hospitality to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador; and also we will be carrying a lantern. We call it a Paról in the Phllippines, and it symbolizes share of faith," Libres told CBC News.
The parade begins at noon, departing from the Fort William Building on Factory Lane in St. John's.
Organizers are anticipating up to 60,000 spectators.