The City of Brantford held its annual Santa Claus Parade and after-party on Nov. 26. It was the first parade in three years, since the beginning of the pandemic.
The parade kicked off at 6 p.m. on Stanley Street and made its way to Dalhousie Street where the after-party was being held in Harmony Square. Brantford citizens lined the streets waiting and watching the various floats passing by.
Elisa Tod, a teacher, was present with her three kids. She said they try to make it a family tradition.
“It exceeded our expectations just because it’s been so long,” she said. “There’s lots of floats, it’s a lot going on so that’s why we came back this time again because it’s a really good parade.”
At the after-party, Mayor Kevin Davis and several councillors of the wards made appearances. They gave short speeches, wishing Brant County a merry Christmas. At the after-party, there was no shortage of activities and free treats for children to enjoy.
Participants joined the countdown for the lighting of the Christmas Tree with Santa. Toddlers, children and teens lined up for a chance to take pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus and the Nutcracker on stilts. Next to Princess Belle’s booth was a miniature ferris wheel for toddlers and small children.
There was hot chocolate donated by Tim Hortons and other treats such as free popcorn and cotton candy provided by Your Neighbourhood Credit Union.
“It was overall amazing,” said Shimaa Matter, a mother of three. “After three years, we get to come back. It was organised, I didn’t have any problems and the free treats for the children was amazing.”
She said the only thing that needed improvement was with the lines for the treats. They were too long for some of the younger children to wait in.
Becky Joshua was present with her daughter at the after-party.
“For her, the most fun part was sending out the letters to Santa,” she said. “She wanted a Barbie doll, so we put that down.”
Joshua explained that children were encouraged to write letters to Santa asking for something they wanted.
“When Santa arrived, she was really excited,” said Joshua.
Father-son duo Jacob and Darren Dsouza entertained the Christmas lovers with several well-known Christmas songs and carols on stage in Harmony Square.
“I think it’s cool,” said Madeline Campbell, a University of Toronto student. “I think it’s nice to see the community come together finally after so long.”
Participants also supported the local businesses around Harmony Square, such as Momoko.