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Published on Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Bridge opening for Santa

Oakville Santa Claus Parade returns on Saturday

Bridge opening for Santa
Photo by Graham Paine/Metroland
The Lakeshore Bridge will be finished in time for the Santa Claus Parade, Councillor Cathy Duddeck, chair of the Santa Claus Parade, along with Mayor Rob Burton and Councillor Ray Chisholm dropped by the bridge to assure Santa Claus that the bridge will be open for this Saturday's big parade.
By Marta Marychuk, Oakville Beaver

OAKVILLE — There will be something for everyone when Santa Claus visits Oakville for the 69th annual Santa Claus Parade, which begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, regardless of snow, rain or shine.

The parade, a favourite family tradition in Oakville, kicks off the holiday season, explains Christine Julien-Sullivan, communications lead for the Oakville Santa Claus Parade committee. “It’s always a good time,” she adds.

Now in its 69th year, the parade is just one year short of its 70th anniversary.

The theme of this year’s Santa Claus Parade is "A Canadian Christmas Through the Decades" to reflect Canada’s 150th anniversary, and Julien-Sullivan says the parade will represent five different decades.

Although organizers get to see descriptions of the floats, Julien-Sullivan says they don’t get to see what the floats actually look like until the morning of the parade. “I think it will be a pleasant surprise for all of us,” she adds.

This year, there will be 49 floats in addition to a wide variety of professional and school bands. Unlike some other communities, Oakville’s parade floats are not professionally made.

Julien-Sullivan says individuals, community groups, schools and Oakville companies, both big and small, build the floats that go into the parade.

“That’s the beauty of the parade,” she says. “It’s community-driven.”

The parade is also an opportunity for the community to come together and help people in need.

Oakville firefighters will be collecting toys for their annual Toy Drive. The Kinsmen will be collecting loose change, while the Salvation Army will be collecting donations of food and toys. And, the Friends of Falgarwood will be selling Red Noses once again for charity, with all proceeds going to the Wellspring Children's Program.

With the bridge over Sixteen Mile Creek on Lakeshore Road now complete, Julien-Sullivan says the parade route will not change this year. The parade kicks off on Lakeshore Road East at Reynolds Street crossing over Sixteen Mile Creek, before heading up Kerr Street to Stewart Street at Felan Avenue.

Heather Dong, who is the winner of this year’s colouring contest, will ride with Mrs. Claus at the start of the Oakville Santa Claus Parade as honorary grand marshal on parade day.

Oakville Beaver cartoonist Steve Nease provided the colouring contest image, which also had a Canada 150 theme. Julien-Sullivan says they received 140 entries in this year’s colouring contest.

More than 100 volunteers will be out on the streets of Oakville during parade day, making everything runs smoothly, says Julien-Sullivan, adding that volunteers are an important part of the event’s success. The Town of Oakville also provides support for the annual parade.

Because parking for the parade is limited, people should take advantage of the free Santa Shuttle. Shuttle service will operate every five minutes between the Oakville GO Station and downtown Oakville, starting at 8 a.m. until 11:15 a.m.

The last shuttle bus to return to the Oakville GO Station will leave downtown Oakville (Church Street and Dunn Street) at 11:30 a.m.

Oakville Transit will also provide service to the parade. All regular fares apply. For information, visit or call 905-815-2020.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

Categories: News




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