Santa Claus Comes to NOTL

Goodness, I loved the Santa Claus Parade.

Believe it or not, I almost didn’t go. I told myself “It’s just for kids”, “I’m not great in crowds”, “It will be too cold”, blah blah blah. But the day of the parade, my sweetie pie convinced me to go.

You see, I love to people watch, and a Santa Claus Parade is the perfect place to do so. Why is that? Well, here is where I start saying corny, schmaltzy things about the magic of Christmas and the excitement of the children….

Yeah, yeah.

But it’s kind of true.

This is one of those posts where I’m going to let the pictures do the talking, mostly. We took soooo many pictures at the parade – the most we have ever taken at any event. I edited them down to 93 of the best, and it was so hard to whittle them down further. I hope you enjoy them too.

Starting with a few pre-parade shots. It was fun to just watch the crowd gather, and see the anticipation in the eyes of the children (well, and some of the grown-ups too)

IMG_4868x2 IMG_4874x2 IMG_4882x2 IMG_4886x2 IMG_4892x2IMG_4920x2

The parade begins

IMG_4912x2

with the Fife and Drum Corps from Fort George

IMG_4928x2 IMG_4943x2

Followed by some of the gorgeous therapy dogs from St. John’s Ambulance. I would have loved some cuddle time with any of these puppies. Aren’t they beautiful? Such sweet, gentle faces.

IMG_5000x2 IMG_5002x2 IMG_5004x2

On with the floats, containing lots of excited kids!

IMG_5012x2 IMG_5013x2 IMG_5034x2

Into the marching bands. This group was great. Had a short video clip to share, but my video editing skills are severely limited, and I just couldn’t get it to work. These pics don’t do this group justice. Great drumming with a bit of choreography too!

IMG_5077x2 IMG_5088x2

Below is one of my favourites from the parade – the dancing shark. I also have a video of the dancing shark on my Instagram page. I’ve watched it several times since, cause it always makes me smile. My shark totally gets into the moment and seems to be having a blast. That must be because he’s dancing to “The Love Boat” – which I thought was the best show ever when I was eight years old. I’ve had the theme music stuck in my head these last few days. But that’s not such a bad thing actually. No one can get in a bad mood when humming “The Love Boat”.

IMG_5122x2

Also, a parade is not a parade without bagpipes, in my opinion. Must be my Scottish blood.

IMG_5183x2 IMG_5187x2

Or clowns. This elf clown was telling people if they were naughty or nice. Apparently, I’ve been naughty. I have no idea why he would think that.

IMG_5217x2IMG_5221x2 IMG_5250x2 IMG_5253x2 IMG_5260x2

Then came the Grape Kings. Very important people here in wine country. They looked like they were having a great time. I was tempted to join them on their float, but reined myself in.

IMG_5293x2 IMG_5294x2 IMG_5296x2 IMG_5301x2IMG_5319x2 IMG_5354x2 IMG_5358x2 IMG_5384x2 IMG_5388x2

The whole crowd looked like they were really enjoying themselves, and there was always something happening. Lots of laughter, and chatting with neighbours, interaction from the walking characters and performers. It made you feel a bit warm and fuzzy. I know, I know – it sounds like a clichéd, sentimental stereotype, but it did. I was a bit surprised myself.

But back to the parade.

This young guy was so happy to see Sparky. It was really cute to watch.

IMG_5422x2

Then along came bubbles, Mrs. Claus and two of the most adorable little elves. Who can’t feel a bit happy when elves and bubbles are involved?

IMG_5429x2 IMG_5435x2

And of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without….

IMG_5436x2

The Grinch.

IMG_5439x2

The Niagara Roller Girls looked like they were having a lot of fun.

IMG_5449x2 IMG_5451x2 IMG_5494x2 IMG_5498x2

Back to music – I loved the Steel Band. Something about those steel drums….I just love the sound.

IMG_5458x2IMG_5465x2IMG_5522x2IMG_5551x2

By this point, we were getting closer to the arrival of the big man himself. He was preceded by this amazing marching band. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a snap of their banner, so I can’t tell you who they are. Bad blogger. They were really good. Perfect for announcing the arrival of Santa.

IMG_5558x2 IMG_5564x2 IMG_5567x2

Then it was finally time….

IMG_5582x2

For Santa!

IMG_5584x2 IMG_5594x2

I had such a good time, I almost felt like a kid again myself. It was truly wonderful to see all ages, people from across the community and a bit beyond, come together to have some Christmas fun.

If you weren’t there, you really must join us next year.