Both holiday and community spirit abound this year as organizers tenaciously prepare for Santa Claus’ annual trip from The North Pole to Kingston and the surrounding communities!
While last year’s Holiday parades were cancelled in many communities due to COVID-19 restrictions, thanks to relatively low risks this year (and approval of large-scale outdoor events in the province by provincial government on Wednesday, Oct. 27), it looks as though most of Santa’s parades will be going ahead this year – including Kingston’s Nighttime Santa Claus Parade, scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. Santa will travel down Princess Street from Bath Road to Ontario Street accompanied by all your favourite floats – and more!
That said, with such a tight time-frame due to the Ontario government’s October announcement and the subsequent work of Public Health to put relevant guidelines in place, many communities were unable to usher in Santa with their usual parades, but some of those towns have adapted by welcoming Santa in other ways instead. In Sharbot Lake, for example, the Lion’s Club will be hosting a Drive-By Santa, rather than a parade for our jolly holiday hero.
“The Sharbot Lake Lions will not be doing a parade, as such. We will be doing a Drive-By Santa on December 4, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the afternoon. It will be set up on the track bed of the Railway Heritage Park in Sharbot Lake off of Elizabeth Street. There will be hot chocolate for the kids, and treats! Also, we will be collecting items for The North Frontenac Food Bank,” said Sharbot Lake Lions Club representative Dave Hansen.
South Frontenac is also hosting Santa’s parade this year in Sydenham, with majority of thanks going to the Loughborough Firefighters Association for organizing the event under pressing time constraints. Santa will be present for Sydenham’s Parade on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, at 11 a.m. sharp starting at Sydenham Fire Hall before making his usual rounds throughout the community. And Jolly ol’ St. Nick will make a stop in Central Frontenac the following day when the Parham -District #4 Recreation Committee hosts a Drive By Santa Claus Parade on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Ball Field in Parham, located at 1164 Wagarville Road. Masks are required and, although you kids won’t be able to sit on Santa’s knee to share their gift wishes, there will be opportunity to talk with the Man in Red and take photos.
In Napanee, Santa’s parade is approved as well by Greater Napanee Town Council for this year, despite some back-and-forth with decision makers earlier in October. Deputy Mayor Max Kaiser is spearheading efforts, along with a great number of plucky volunteers to make the parade happen in due course.
“Originally, restrictions for the province prevented the planning and scheduling of the parade – I was already hoping and wishing that we could make one happen. Because staff were already moving in a different direction, I volunteered that I would do what it took and a couple of the councillors stepped up with me, so we’re even more involved than we would have been in the past,” said Dep. Mayor Kaiser. “For me, it’s very important for families and kids of all ages this year to have that cheer to spread around.”
Napanee’s Santa parade will be held on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 5:30 p.m. and will be following on the same route as 2019, starting at Napanee District Secondary School. Dep. Mayor Kaiser advised that COVID-19 guidelines are still in place, and that the public viewing Santa’s parade should still practice social distancing and wearing masks if they’re able to do so.
Bill Stewart, Executive Director of Thousand Islands and Gananoque’s Chamber of Commerce, said that Santa will use his magic to be in two places at the same time, as Gan’s Santa Parade will also be happening this year on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 5:30 p.m. Gananoque Police gave the go-ahead for an “almost completely normal” Santa Parade this year for the town, Stewart said, but he also advises those who view the parade that social distancing and masks will still be encouraged for the outdoor gathering.
“Nobody else in the area had anything last year, so we were kind of the place to be. To get the go ahead from our police force a few weeks back was just great news, and so now we are upward and onward with the selling of floats and promotion,” commented Stewart, when asked how Santa’s parade will fare this year compared to 2020. “[Leeds and Grenville has] the highest vaccination rate in Ontario, so it’s really encouraging to see everybody come together as a nice little way to reward everyone at the end of the year.”
North of the city, the Tamworth and District Lions Club have Santa and Mrs Claus visiting at Beaver Lake Lions Park on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Santa is bringing his Santa’s Store and elves to assist children with shopping for gifts for mom, dad, grandparents, etc., and the OPP and local fire department will be there to visit with kids while they’re waiting in the drive through. Children are encouraged to bring their letters for Santa, and if possible a non-perishable food or cash donation for our the Lions Club’s Christmas food basket program. Families will also have an opportunity to visit with Santa and Mrs, Claus at a safe distance, and take pictures in front of a festive backdrop.
In true Holiday fashion, there were both red and green lights in regards to Belleville’s Santa Claus parade this year, but CEO of Belleville Chamber of Commerce, Jill Raycroft, said that Santa’s parade will be happening there this year, as well! The parade will be held on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 4:30 p.m. and will take Santa’s sleigh straight down Bridge Street along with some eye-catching floats and decorated vehicles.
And the latest parade of the holiday season will see Santa in Battersea on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, with the parade route leaving Storrington Public School at 12 p.m. and travelling along Battersea Road and back, as pictured below.
So, for all those young and young at heart, forget the ‘Naughty or Nice’ list – if you live in Kingston and the area, this year, Santa Claus is definitely coming to town!
List of area parades
Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, beginning at 5 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 27, beginning at 11 a.m.
Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, beginning at 1 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021, beginning at 2 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, beginning at 1 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, beginning at 12 p.m.
If you are aware of any holiday parades we’ve missed for the 2021 season, please let us know at [email protected]ingstonist.com.