By DeeAnna Rollins
Fifty-eight years. That’s how long Santa Claus has been coming to town for the annual K-W Santa Claus Parade. However, this year, he came in the rain rather than the snow.
People, young and old alike, scattered along King Street to watch the jolly old man float along the parade route, waving and ho-ho-ho-ing to all of the shivering – yet, still smiling – children. They were shouting what they wanted for Christmas as loud as they could over the sound of their chattering teeth.
Canada Post workers weren’t far behind Santa, collecting all of the letters handwritten with crayon to Santa Claus himself. The onlooking children begged the elves and post office workers to make sure that St. Nick received their letters on time for Christmas. The workers would share a wink and a smirk with the parents and make their way to the next group of waiting children.
“The rain definitely couldn’t keep us away,” said mother-of-three, Emily Lovelace. “It’s pretty cold, they’re all shivering, but only one of them is complaining. They just really want to see Santa.”
Lovelace has been attending the Santa Claus parade ever since she was a kid, and when she had children she felt like she needed to carry on the tradition.
“I always used to come to the parade as a kid with my parents,” she said. “I loved coming as a kid, and knew my kids would too.”
The Lovelaces weren’t the only family at the parade celebrating tradition.
“I’ve been coming for six years,” said six-year-old Lily McNaughton.
The McNaughton family came to the parade prepared for the cold. The four of them were all bundled up in winter jackets and blankets and were hiding underneath a covered area at Kitchener City Hall to stay out of the rain.
“I’m happy we remembered to bring the winter jacket,” said Lily’s mother, Kristen. “The blankets wouldn’t have been enough. That wind is really chilly.”
The wind may have been cold and crisp, but that didn’t stop Lily from being excited to see Santa.
“Seeing Santa is my favourite part, even though I don’t know what I want for Christmas at all yet,” she said.
Just as Santa’s float passed city hall the rain started to turn into a light snow, making it feel just a little bit more like Christmas.