The Windsor Parade Corporation says the Sandwich Towne BIA should not be pitted against the bigger Downtown Windsor BIA when it comes to duelling Santa Claus parades.
The city has already approved the parade corporation's parade, which is to be held Dec. 1 on Windsor's west end.
A second Santa Claus parade in the city is the expected hot topic at Windsor city council Monday night, when at least 12 delegations will speak on the issue.
It is to be held downtown Dec. 15 and is a controversial idea for some.
"I don’t believe a BIA should be pitted against another BIA," said Maggie Durocher of the Windsor Parade Corporation, which is responsible for producing four Santa parades in Windsor-Essex, including Windsor's west end.
Durocher said when the parade left the downtown core years ago, it was partially because it had very little support from businesses on Ouellette Avenue.
"When the parade was downtown, in the final years, we only had two sponsors on Ouellette Avenue," Durocher claimed. "We met with the BIA and asked if they would come on board as a sponsor and help us with the parade for $10,000.
"The answer was no. That’s not what the businesses wanted. They were not interested in the parade."
Durocher said businesses would hang signs deterring customers from using washrooms and wouldn't participate in the festivities. It is different in Sandwich Towne, she said.
"The businesses there absolutely embraced us. We were going into an area that for a long time hadn’t had a lot," she said. "The businesses opened their doors and opened their hearts. It was warm and it was welcoming."
Durocher noted that downtown is getting a new aquatic centre and has balloonapalooza. She also said the Canada parade has moved east, so the west should get the Santa Claus parade.
The Sandwich Business Improvement Association is the main sponsor of that parade. The association claims it's fine with the Windsor Downtown BIA having another parade, but questions why it's planned for Dec. 15, just two weeks later.
Larry Horwitz is chairman of the downtown group.
"It's a new time for downtown. The university and college are coming downtown and there are new groups taking part in the parade," he said.
Some on city council, such as Coun. Bill Marra, believe there's room for both parades.
"The way I'm approaching this is that there are a couple of BIAs with extensive holiday plans both of which want to include a Santa Claus parade and there's no reason why both can't be successful," he said.
Council must decide tonight whether to allow certain downtown streets to be closed for the downtown Winter Fest parade.
Coun. Fulvio Valentinis represents the downtown district and doesn't see any problem.
"It gives people the opportunity if they can't make one, they can make the other," he said. "But hopefully they'll be able to make both.
"One is very focused on Sandwich Towne, and it's something they've done the last few years. The other one is the downtown."