September 30, 2020

By WENDY CZAKO-MAH

’Twas the month before Christmas and people lined the streets. With blankets and lawn chairs and all kinds of hot drinks. They settled in, knowing St. Nicholas would soon be there. Despite the cold weather and nip in the air.

Cambridge officially began its countdown to Christmas on Nov. 17.

Thousands of Cambridge residents and people from surrounding cities came out to watch the 40th annual Santa Claus parade.

Although it didn’t officially get underway until 6 p.m., police officers arrived early to direct shoppers as they left the nearby shopping mall, closing off the parade route to traffic.

The parade ran approximately three kilometres along Hespeler Road, starting at Dunbar Road and ending at Langs Drive.

Some of the participants and their families celebrated Christmas twice that day, enjoying company parties earlier.

Jan Fletcher, who has been a participant in the parade for the last five years, rode on her company’s float, which had a Grinch theme. She said it takes Collaborative Structures employees a couple of days to prepare their display for the parade.

“We had our kids’ Christmas party at the office today and the kids got all Who’d-up for the event afterwards,” said Fletcher, referring to the parade.

The Cambridge Santa Claus parade is one of the few parades in Ontario that operates after dark, giving an extra glow to the event thanks to the many twinkling lights that adorn the floats. As well, for the past 10 years, this is one of the few parades to have a Mrs. Claus.

Peter Knoop of Priority Mechanical spent a couple of weekends building his company’s float and even went to Bronner’s Christmas store in Michigan to get the reindeer. The float also featured a tin man Santa made from HVAC parts.

“This is our very first year in the parade. We did the Kitchener parade this morning,” said Knoop.

For many spectators, sitting on the parade route was not their preferred choice. Instead, they set up their chairs on Langs Drive around 5:30 p.m. This gave them an added bonus of seeing floats arrive as well as finishing.

You could say double the fun.