Santa Claus has come to town!

Bachir Miloudi / Sputnik Photography
Santa commanding his reindeer.

Brantford’s annual Santa Claus Parade graced the streets of downtown on Saturday, Nov. 25.  

The parade began at 6 p.m. on Stanley Street and finished in Harmony Square. The parade has many floats this year all made and provided by groups and sponsors, such as GrandBridge Energy, Brantford Twin Valley Zoo and the City of Brantford. Families lined Dalhousie St. eagerly waiting to catch a glimpse of the man of the hour — Santa Claus.  

Liam Bongers, a fourth-year criminology student, had never been to a Brantford Santa Claus parade before.  

“I come from a small town and our holiday parade was nothing special, so I am excited to see what a bigger town has to offer,” he said. 

This year, the parade is brought to Brantford by Freedom House, a local church organization, for the first time. Freedom House has been a long-standing organization in the Brantford community for over 18 years. Joining Freedom House in the holly jolly spirit is corporate sponsor Grandbridge Energy along with other sponsorships from local radio stations and businesses. 

“We don’t have something like this without a lot of people working really hard,” said mayor Kevin Davis. 

At the end of the parade, the community gathered at Harmony Square, the beating heart of downtown Brantford for the Parade After Party and tree lighting. Coupled with words from the mayor, members of the community and city council, there was free hot chocolate circulating the chilly November night to keep everyone in the holiday spirit.  

This year, the after party started with a blessing from a member of the Kickapoo people, Seminole and Mohawk people. Followed by the blessing were words from city councillors, the town crier and of course, Mr. and Mrs. Claus.   

During his address to the public, Santa Claus stirred up some competition between the crowd, seeing who could “HO, HO, HO,” the loudest, before retiring to his warm and cozy tent to take free photos with the crowd.  

This year’s parade was a little different. In the last two years, the City of Brantford has put on the parade, but before them, non-profit organization Junior Chamber International Brantford organized the parade for over 45 years. Due to COVID-19 measures in 2021, they could not bring the parade to Brantford and have not since.  

As the night wound down, the mayor began the tree lighting ceremony. Harmony square was dark and buzzing with excitement from all the parade goers. As the crowd counted down from 10, the scenic downtown was washed over in twinkling lights and Christmas cheer.  

Bachir Miloudi / Sputnik Photography
Santa and Mrs. Claus with city councilmen and Mayor Kevin Davis.

This article was originally published in print Volume 23, Issue 4 on Thursday, Dec. 7.

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