Take in new floats, experiences at Downtown Kingston’s 2023 Nighttime Santa Parade

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Photo via Downtown Kingston BIA.

The magic of the holiday season is just around the corner, and the Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area (BIA) is ready to welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus back to town at the annual Nighttime Santa Parade.

This year’s parade, which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, will feature a “spectacular procession” of over 90 participating organizations, including many first-timers, promising an exciting and fresh experience for spectators, the BIA stated in a media release.

The parade will leave Innovation Park at 5 p.m., travel down Princess Street to Ontario Street, and is expected to showcase a dazzling display of holiday lights, music, and enchanting floats.

In the spirit of giving, the holiday parade will continue its tradition of community support. According to the release, the Partners in Mission Foodbank will lead the parade, collecting non-perishable food items from spectators along the route. Canada Post will follow closely behind, so have your letters to Santa ready!

“We’re excited to welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus back to Kingston and kick off the holiday season in style,” said Sandi Griffiths, Events Coordinator with the Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area. “With over 90 participants and an array of new entries, this year’s Nighttime Santa Parade is set to be a memorable event for everyone. We encourage the community to join us on Princess Street and take part in the spirit of giving by donating non-perishable food items.”

The BIA said that one of the most anticipated moments of the evening will be when Santa himself flips the switch to illuminate the City’s official holiday tree in Springer Market Square, immediately following the parade. The tree lighting ceremony promises to be a “heartwarming and magical experience, setting the stage for a season filled with joy and togetherness,” the organization expressed.

The Nighttime Santa Parade is a free, family-friendly event that ushers in the holiday season. Bundle up and head downtown early to find a good spot to enjoy the spectacle of the annual parade.

As part of the festivities, Kingston Transit will be free all day.

Princess Street will be closed to traffic ahead of this event. According to Kingston Police, the closures will occur as follows:

3:00 p.m. – all parked vehicles along the parade route on Princess St need to be moved

3:30 p.m. – remaining vehicles will receive a ‘Friendly Tow(no charge) to the Anglin Parking Lot located at 1 Bay St.

4:30 p.m. – Princess St will be closed between Sir John AMacdonald Blvd down to Division St to begin clearing the street in anticipation of the parade. Entry and exit from the Kingston Centre, all its businesses, and Canadian Tire can only occur from Bath Rd on the south side from 4:30 p.monwards

5:00 p.m. – Santa Claus Parade commences from Novelis heading east on Princess St!

5:15 p.m. – Princess St will be further closed from Division St down to Ontario St.

5:30 p.m. – Ontario St will be closed between Queen St to William St.

  • At this time there is no regular vehicular access to cross Princess St from Ontario St all the way up to the Kingston CentreThe closest north/south roadway open to the public will be Sir John A. Macdonald Blvd.
  • Emergency Access Points (EAPs) across Princess St for first responders only are located at Macdonnell St, Barrie St and King St. Spectators at these intersections are asked not to sit or setup blankets/chairs along the crosswalks.

7:00 p.m. – Parade concludes and the Tree Lighting Ceremony occurs at Springer Market Square. Ontario St will remain closed until all floats are safely dispersed.

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