Manitoba

Santa Claus Parade needs $100K to replace rickety sleigh

Santa Claus might not make it to town after all unless he gets $100,000 to replace his sleigh.

'The parade is in jeopardy' due to unexpected expense, organizers say

The Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade could be forced to cancel if it can't raise $100,000 to replace Santa's sleigh float. (Wendy Buelow/CBC)

Santa Claus might not make it to town after all unless he gets $100,000 to replace his sleigh.

The organizers of the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade say the iconic final float in the annual event has been declared unfit to roll down the street. They've launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a new one.

"The current float is more than 60 years old and is no longer safe to use," parade director Monica Derksen said in a news release. "With extreme winter temperatures and wear and tear for decades, the old Eaton's billboards, key to the structural integrity, are damaged beyond repair. The decor is crumbling and the snowmen disintegrating."

The parade, which has been a tradition in Winnipeg since 1909, draws more than 60,000 people downtown each year.

"With the unexpected costly expense of the float, the parade is in jeopardy," organizers said.

"We are so grateful for donations and support from friends, families, businesses and supporters. We have our fingers crossed that we'll be unveiling our 2018 parade float in November, built to last for decades to come," Derksen said.

The Winnipeg parade is the second largest Santa Claus parade in the country and the largest nighttime parade in Canada.

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