City of Windsor approves funding for 'reverse' Santa Claus parade

Santa Claus is still coming to town, but his parade through town will look a bit different this year as Windsor city council agreed to sponsor the annual parade, which will see spectators drive past the floats and entertainers instead of the other way around.

'It's a little bit scary' say organizers, of the brand-new format

Santa Claus waves to the crowd from his float during a past parade. This year's Santa Claus parade will take a different tactic, after organizers secured $20,000 in sponsorship funding from the City of Windsor. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

Santa Claus is still coming to town after Windsor City Council agreed to provide the funding needed for the city to have a Santa Claus parade this year.

The 52nd Annual Windsor Santa Claus Parade secured $20,000 in sponsorship funding from the City of Windsor Monday night. Due to pandemic restrictions, the parade will be held in reverse, meaning the public will drive by the floats and entertainers instead of the other way around.

Earlier this year the parade found itself without a location or a sponsor because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will now be presented by the City of Windsor and held at St. Clair College. 

"We were so overjoyed yesterday when that report went to the consent agenda, and council did agree to sponsor the parade," said Maggie Durocher, a board member at the Windsor Parade Corporation. 

Organizers aren't really sure what to expect

The funding from the city comes from money left over by the cancellation of Windsor's Bright Lights festival, which takes place over the month of December in Jackson Park.

Kingsville and Amherstburg will also hold similar "reverse" parades. 

While the parade will still feature most of the usual entertainment, including floats, bands and of course the big man himself, its new format means Durocher and her fellow organizers don't know exactly what to expect.

"Santa Claus will be in the parade, and that's about all that's going to be the same," said Durocher. "It's a little bit scary because we don't what it's going to be like, we don't know what the turnout is going to be like."

"But at the end of the day we're able to deliver a parade of sorts, and it's not going to be the year without Santa Claus."

The parade will take place on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.


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