This year's Santa Claus parade is over, but CBC Thunder Bay's "Very Cozy Christmas" theme will live on through the winter.
Twenty-six volunteers spent more than three weeks knitting and sewing a costume for the station's van. On Saturday, it sported a giant toque and scarf as it passed by more than 30,000 spectators at the 22nd annual parade.
"(The toque) was what I imagined but more," said Lynn Landry-Rody, who led the group of volunteer knitters. "It was so huge."
The owner of the Threads in Time wool shop will now put all that yarn to good use. Starting this week, volunteers will separate the toque into strips, she said, and sew them together to make five throws for patients at St. Joseph's Hospice.
Landry-Rody said they will also make the narrower strips into eight scarves and donate them to the Grace Lutheran Street Reach Ministry on Simpson Street.
"Something cheerful just before Christmas or for Christmas," she said. "We'd just like to warm some hearts."
Already planning for next year
Landry-Rody said she considers the project a big success — and a big undertaking.
"I could probably sleep for about a week now," she laughed. "I didn't realize how much ... energy it took."
Still, she said she would do it again "in a heartbeat." In fact, she's already planning for next year.
Landry-Rody said people donated so much yarn that there are five boxes of it left. So the volunteers plan to start knitting hats and scarves to attach to the CBC van for next year's parade.
Landry-Rody said they will donate the hand-crafted items to charities afterward.
"If we start right after Christmas, we should have a lot."