Moncton to hold reverse Santa Claus parade
Floats will be lined up in parking lot at Moncton Coliseum
Families won't be lining up along Moncton's Main Street this year to wait for Santa Claus's appearance in the city's annual parade on Nov. 21. Instead they'll be the ones doing the driving to see Saint Nick as he sits waiting for them on his float.
In what is being called a reverse parade, floats will be stationary in the parking lot at the Moncton Coliseum and parade-goers will drive through to view them.
Robert Gallant, the sponsorship coordinator for the Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade, said the organizing committee has been trying to decide for some time how the parade could still go ahead.
It was decided the best way to protect people and let them stay in their bubbles was to hold a stationary parade.
"So it's almost like a reverse parade idea where we all have all the floats lined up at the Moncton Coliseum in the parking lot, and the public will come to us and drive through the parade this year and get to see all of the the floats and the lights and, you know, keep the traditional alive."
The parade will begin at 4 p.m., an hour earlier than usual, because Gallant anticipates it will take longer to get all the cars through.
"That's why we're starting it a little bit early, but it's close enough to dusk that they'll still, you know, the vast majority of people going through will still get to see the lights."
Floats already registered
The parking lot has room for 80 floats, the maximum organizers accept for the regular parade.
"So the Coliseum was really our only option to find a place big enough and contained enough to be able to still have our full float options going on."
Gallant said they're not sure how many floats there will be this year, but some have already registered.
"It's been a discouraging year for a lot of people and that's why we've been working hard to really find this way, to keep this bright spot of our community and this celebration at the Christmas time going so that everybody can can get out in a different form, but still get out and be part of this great, great tradition."
When it was suggested the reverse parade idea might become a permanent way to hold the parade, Gallant said he hoped not.
"There really is a real sense of community when you have thousands of people lined up on Main Street and into Dieppe on Champlain.
So we'll do it this way this year just to keep it going. But no, we really hope that, you know, in the next year or so that we'll be able to get back to normal or, you know, a little closer to normal and be able to gather together."