Once upon a time, eighteen Christmases ago, Santa came to Haliburton Village waving and spreading joy from atop a mighty new float pulled by his beloved reindeer promising to return every year. And, thanks to the Haliburton & District Lions Club members who built that glorious float and to co-sponsor, the Haliburton BIA, he will be back again on Friday, Nov. 25 at 6:30 p.m. in the Haliburton Santa Claus Parade, and you’re invited!
Jim Frost, past president of Haliburton’s local Lions Club, and consummate community event action hero, is as excited as ever. And so is Luke Schell, Haliburton BIA president who said, “Jim Frost has done another great job of organizing the parade along with his fellow Lions. We expect, once again, to have people lining Highland Street, many arriving early for the singing of Christmas carols led by Gord Kidd (at 5:30 p.m.) and tree lighting (at 6:00 p.m.) at the village square.”
“The tree goes up this year on Sunday morning, Nov. 20,” Frost said, “and is being donated by Barb and Vince Hammond. The fire department always puts it up for us. We invite parents and their kids to come by any time after the tree goes up to hang an ornament on it.”
“This year we have over thirty floats,” Frost said, “the most we’ve ever had. There will be two great bands – the Kawartha Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps from Lindsay, very large and very popular, who have been in the parade for many years, and the Pipes and Drums of Lindsay. There might even be horses.”
Among those participating in the parade are: The Turtle Guardians, the Shriners, Burtch Construction, Rotary Club of Haliburton. “Dysart and the Haliburton Museum (Andrea Mueller and Kate Butler) are putting a float together,” Frost said. “Minden Pride and Camexicanus always have a lot of music on their floats. Skyline Dance Studio will be in the parade and just might do a dance routine. The new Haliburton [County] hockey team, the Huskies, will also be there as well as Sir Sam’s Ski/Ride. Jamie Schmale, MP and Laurie Scott, MPP will also add to the festivities.”
The list goes on.
“Of course, the most exciting part of the Santa Claus parade is Santa Claus!” Frost said. “His float is filled with music, lights, and reindeer that move up and down, with Santa standing in his festive red suit waving to the crowd.”
The Lions will walk in front of the Santa Claus float, while Canadian postal workers will be on the parade route collecting letters for Santa.
This year’s theme: Toyland in Haliburton
For all those participating in the Santa Claus parade, Frost suggests taking this year’s theme Toyland in Haliburton and being creative with it. “Have fun incorporating it into your floats, with music, lights and colourful decorations.”
For safety purposes, those with floats are being asked to have a person walk on either side to prevent spectators from coming too close.
As the parade begins …
The OPP will lead the parade followed by Dysart fire trucks, an EMS ambulance, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 129 Colour Guard and the Pipes & Drums of Lindsay.
History of the Santa Claus Float
In 2004, Sam Charlton, Jim Meadows, Ernie Winterburn and Ken Noble had an idea to build a Santa Claus float for Haliburton Village and were sponsored by the Haliburton & District Lions Club and the Haliburton BIA with contributions from local residents and businesses.
The four men put in 3,000 hours of labour. Charlton had the vision of what the float should look like, so he became the leader and carved all the deer from Styrofoam.
A wagon was purchased and extended to make a twenty-four-foot platform that held all of the buildings that were built from scratch: a church, toy store, and a barn for the reindeer.
The sleigh (antique cutter) was up for sale by John and Rhonda Francis. When they found out it was being used for the Santa Claus float, the price dropped substantially.
For safety reasons and for better viewing, there will be no parking on Highland Street during the parade. Suggested parking – the Haliburton town docks and public parking lots.
Parade entries are welcome.
Simply contact Jim Frost at 705-457-4031 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.