The big guy in the red suit comes to town as parade floats through Toronto
Police stopped the parade briefly due to a 'suspicious package' but Santa was deemed to be safe
Santa Claus came to town on Sunday and the president of Canada's longest running parade that features the big guy in the red suit says the event is magical every year.
Peter Beresford, who saw his first parade when he was eight years old, says it never gets old.
"Well, you know, it doesn't," he told CBC Radio's Here and Now on Friday.
"For me, the fun is watching even grandparents and their children and their grandchildren, all standing three generations. They keep coming back because of the magic of Santa."
Thousands of people watched The Original Santa Claus Parade in Toronto on Sunday as it made its way along the 6.5 kilometre route downtown.
It got underway at 12:30 p.m. as Mayor John Tory and the crowd at the start shouted "Ho Ho Ho!"
At 1:25 p.m., Toronto police received a call about a "suspicious package" at the intersection of Queen Street West and University Avenue and officers stopped the parade briefly.
But the event resumed after a couple of minutes, said Const. Craig Brister, a spokesperson for Toronto Police Service.
"It was an abandoned bag," he said. "There were some clothes in it. We stopped the parade as a precaution."
Santa was determined to be safe.
The parade featured 28 floats, including the ones carrying Santa and Mrs. Claus, and there were 21 marching bands.
This year, Santa's float was about 12 metres, or 42 feet long, Beresford said.
"It is the most impressive float that we have ever built in my 35 years. And what a perfect way for the star to arrive," he said.
One float celebrated Canada's upcoming appearance in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
"The magic of the parade brings out the child in all of us," Beresford said.
Beresford said, in the first parade he saw as a child, the upside down clowns were the main attraction for him.
"I was absolutely in awe," he said.
The parade started at Bloor and Christie Streets. It travelled along Bloor Street to University Avenue. From there, it went south on University Avenue to Wellington Street, then travelled east on Wellington.
Then, the parade headed south on Yonge Street before it headed east on Front Street. It ended at the intersection of Front and Jarvis Streets at the St. Lawrence Market.
And the 113th annual <a href="https://twitter.com/TOSanta?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TOSanta</a> parade is off and running. Merry Christmas Toronto! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SantaClausParade?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SantaClausParade</a> <a href="https://t.co/kAHDUoNTUt">pic.twitter.com/kAHDUoNTUt</a>—@JohnTory
One of the favourite costumes are always the upside down clowns and monkeys. What about you?<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SantaClausParade?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SantaClausParade</a> <a href="https://t.co/iMIxCSEtW3">pic.twitter.com/iMIxCSEtW3</a>—@TOSanta
Mrs Claus is here with her freshly baked cookies! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SantaClausParade?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SantaClausParade</a> <a href="https://t.co/zMRo5UA8VX">pic.twitter.com/zMRo5UA8VX</a>—@TOSanta
Santa is here!!!!!! And he wishes all of us, a very Merry Christmas! Ho Ho Ho<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SantaClausParade?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SantaClausParade</a> <a href="https://t.co/qJMBLNk4is">pic.twitter.com/qJMBLNk4is</a>—@TOSanta