With the snow acting as the perfect backdrop, the 16th annual Nighttime Santa Parade will take place tomorrow evening in downtown Kingston.
Presented by the Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area (BIA), the 2019 parade will take place on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. The parade will take its usual route, leaving Innovation Park at the corner of Princess Street and Bath Road at 5 p.m. sharp, and continuing down Princess Street to Ontario Street.
Dozens and dozens of floats will help light up the nighttime sky and lead the way for Santa and Mrs. Claus, with music and dancing throughout the downtown core. And according to the BIA, Santa’s helpers are once again pleased to make Rotary Comfort Zones available for families with accessibility needs. These Zones will be located close to accessible parking and accessible washrooms, and will also have volunteers from Rotary on hand to answer questions and lend a helping hand. The ones will be located in front of Giant Tiger (881 Princess Street), Crave Coffee House (166 Princess Street), and Milestones (27 Princess Street). More information on the Rotary Comfort Zones, which are made possible by the Rotary Clubs of Kingston and the City of Kingston, is available here.
Additionally, Kingston Transit will be offering free rides all day, on all routes. All Express Routes will run on a 15-minute service, rather than the regular Saturday 30-minute service, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., with frequent service after the parade.
“The extra service we’re offering this Saturday is the perfect excuse for people to use one of our Park & Ride locations. Riders can drive their vehicles to a Park & Ride, hop on a bus, and we can take them right downtown to all the action,” said Jeremy DaCosta, Director of Transit Services for the City of Kingston. “Express 501/502 passengers have a new Park & Ride option available this year with the Jim Beattie Park & Ride lot on Henderson Boulevard. Passengers will be able to enjoy an easy 20-minute commute straight downtown.”
Kingston Transit offers free parking at six Park & Ride locations throughout the city: Jim Beattie Park on Henderson Boulevard, Centre 70 at Front and Days roads, the INVISTA Centre at 1350 Gardiners Rd., Kingston Gospel Temple at 2295 Princess St., Montreal Street at Highway 401, and Innovation Drive east of Highway 15. Bus stops are within a short walking distance of each of these locations.
Don’t forget to bring along some non-perishable food items for Partners in Mission Food Bank, as volunteers from Trinity Presbyterian Church will be leading the parade for the 27th consecutive year, collection cash and food donations for the local food bank. According to those with Trinity Presbyterian Church, over the years, their volunteers have collected over $50,000 and 50,000 pounds of food for the food bank, helping to ensure everyone in Kingston has food to feed their family over the holidays and cold months.
And, as the parade ends on Ontario Street, the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place in Springer Market Square. Join the party as the massive tree behind City Hall lights up for the season, with Santa and Mrs. Claus doing the honours of flipping the light switch! Have a safe and happy Nighttime Santa Parade, Kingston!