September 27, 2020

By Mark Fitzgerald

With Christmas just around the corner we are starting to see the uprising of parade floats, marching bands and the jolly old man himself who only comes around once a year.

Every November and December the parades come without fail and there is always a crowd. But are the number of spectators growing? Do people still care about parades? And do we have too many? Parades already held this year had less than ideal “Christmasy” weather.

Citizens of Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo all have mixed thoughts on the Christmas parades in the region. The overall consensus is that they are great for kids, but cities are holding them far too early and it ruins the spirit of Christmas.

Daniel Lawson, of Kitchener, said he still comes to the parades for his kids because it is an important part of growing up. He also believes that the parades are a bit too long and drawn out.

“Seeing Santa ride around is great, and that’s all the kids really want to see,” Lawson said.

Cheryl Francis, of Waterloo, said she thinks the unusually warm weather doesn’t help the parade in any way. She said the city should push the event back to December to at least have a chance of snow to give it a more “seasonal and festive feel.”

“I remember when it would snow at some parades, and those were the ones I loved the most,” Francis said.

Stephen Cabeldu, of Cambridge, said there are far too many parades in the area and that the cities should just have one big parade. He thinks that it is a waste of money because they are all so similar. He added combining them makes more sense as well because there should only be one Santa Claus.

“It doesn’t make sense why each little region has their own parade. Sure, it’s nice to have something local, but we could just have one huge parade and get it over with,” Cabeldu said.

Some people think that they hold the parades so early to get people in the Christmas spirit which means they will start their holiday shopping earlier.

Everyone agreed that the parades are great for children, but they could fine-tune the event itself.