Edited to add: Click this link for the 2014 Santa Claus and holiday parade info!
Ho! Ho! Holy Christmas, can you believe it’s that time of year again already?! Time for the 6th annual Christmas/Santa/Holiday Parade round-up! Wheeee! (I’ve pinned this post to the front page for the Christmas season.)
Did you know that a truly dedicated Santa fan could visit sixteen holiday parades this season in Eastern Ontario alone? Or that the busiest weekend for multiple parades is November 25 through 27, with a dozen parades over three days – from Brockville to Gatineau! If you’re up for the challenge, here’s this year’s schedule, in chronological order:
Kanata Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, November 12 2011, starting at 10:00 am. The parade will proceed onto Castlefrank Road, turning onto Abbeyhill Drive and on to Hazeldean Mall.
Kemptville Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, November 19 2011, starting at 1:00 pm. The parade will begin to travel east on Clothier St. before turning right onto Prescott St. Floats will entertain parade-goers the length of Prescott St., before turning right into the University of Guelph-Kemptville Campus.
Ottawa Help Santa Toy Parade
Saturday, November 19 2011 starting at 5:00 pm. The parade will start at the National Archives on Wellington street, head east on Wellington Street and then turn right on Bank Street. It will continue south on Bank Street then turn left on Laurier Avenue, continue east on Laurier Avenue past City Hall and onto the Queen Elizabeth Driveway. New toys (no used toys, please) and cash donations will be collected by the Ottawa Firefighters.
15th Annual Barrhaven Lions Club Light Up the Night Santa Claus Parade
Sunday, November 20 2011, starting at 5:30 pm. The parade runs down Strandherd Drive, starting at Beatrice Drive and ending at the park n ride, where it turns north for dispersal.
Gatineau Santa Claus Parade
Friday, November 25 2011, starting at 7:00 pm. A tradition that goes back several years, this light-filled parade that departs from the Aylmer marina attracts crowds from the entire region.
Brockville Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, November 26 2011, starting at 2:00 pm.The Brockville Rotary Santa Claus Parade will start at North Agusta Road and Pearl Street then travel West on Pearl Street E. to Park Street, South on Park Street and lastly, West on King Street to Gilmore Street. The parade will feature many floats, bands, horses, clowns, community groups, dignitaries and finally the star attraction, Santa himself. Volunteers will collect non-perishable goods, snowsuit donations and letters to Santa.
8th Annual Carleton Place Santa Parade
Saturday, November 26 2011 starting at 5:00 pm. Thousands of spectators, over one hundred floats, and one jolly St. Nick will meet downtown Carleton Place on Bridge Street for the largest Santa Claus parade in the Ottawa Valley. This year’s theme is ‘A Christmas Gift.’
Pembroke Santa Claus Parade of Lights
Saturday, November 26 2011, starting at 5:30 pm. The theme of this years’ parade is ‘Twelve Days Of Christmas.’
Orleans Parade of Lights 2011
Saturday, November 26 2011 starting at 6:00 pm. Once again the Ottawa Professional Firefighters Association will be hosting Santa’s Parade of Lights on St-Joseph Blvd. in Orleans. Toy and cash donations will be collected by firefighters along the route.
Saturday, November 26 2011 starting at 6:00 pm.
Embrun Village Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, November 26 2011 starting at 6:30 pm.
Stittsville Parade of Lights 2011
Saturday, November 26 2011 starting at 7:30 pm.
Smiths Falls Santa Parade
Sunday, November 27 2011, time unknown.
Russell Village Christmas Parade
Sunday, November 27 2011, starting at 1 pm.
Rockland Christmas Parade of Lights
Sunday, November 27 2011, starting at 4:30 pm. Parade runs on Laurier Street
Casselman Santa Claus Parade
Sunday, November 27 2011, starting at 5:00 pm
Vankleek Hill Christmas Parade of Light
Friday, December 2 2011 at 7:00 p.m. Watch for Santa on his float! Visit with Santa before the Parade! Santa’s village will be from 4:30 to 6:45 p.m. at The Review, 76 Main Street East, Vankleek Hill. Santa will be on hand with his helpers and will have goodies for each little visitor! The street lights will be turned off for this Special Occasion. Come out and enjoy the Christmas Spirit. (Hey, did you know Vankleek Hill is the Gingerbread Capital of Ontario?!?)
Richmond Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 3 2011, starting at 11:00 am. Later that night at 6 pm, enjoy the annual “Lighting of the Park.”
Osgoode Santa Parade
Saturday, December 3 2011. Don’t miss “Christmas in the Village” while you’re there!
Manotick Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 3 2011, starting at 1:00 pm.
Pakenham Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 3 2011, starting at 1 pm. The Pakenham Santa Claus Parade is always a wonderful event that takes one back in time. The parade begins in front of the Stewart Community Centre. Santa and Mrs. Claus will make their way to the Upper Hall of the community centre following the parade where they will be available to meet with children of all ages. Complimentary hot chocolate and hot dogs will be served. There is also free public skating from 2 to 3 pm following the parade.
Perth Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 3 2011, starting at 5:00 pm.
Hawkesbury Santa Claus Parade
Saturday December 3 2011, starting at 7:00 pm. Let yourself be carried away by the magic of this beautiful tradition which will unravel on Hawkesbury’s Main Street.
Picton Santa Claus Parade
Sunday, December 4 2011, starting at 1:00 p.m. The parade route begins McFarland Drive (at the Beer Store) and continues through Main Street to the intersection of Highway 33, Talbot & Lake Streets (at the LCBO), there will be great viewing along the entire route.
Almonte Santa Claus Parade
Sunday, December 4 2011, starting at 1:30 pm. The parade begins at the Almonte Community Centre Parking Lot. Santa and Mrs. Claus will make their way to the Upper Hall of the community centre following the parade where they will be available to meet the children. Hot chocolate and hot dogs will be served compliments of the Almonte Lions Club. There will also be free public skating from 2 to 4 pm. Enjoy an afternoon of celebration and fun.
Carp Santa Claus Parade
Saturday, December 10 2011, starting at 1 p.m. Parade Route starts at The Diefenbunker (3911 Carp Rd) and follows Carp Road to Juanita Street to Langstaff Drive, then turns right onto Donald B. Munro Drive to Carp Road finishing back at the Diefenbunker.
Note: I had to drop a few towns this year as I couldn’t find any information about Metcalfe, Gananoque, Cornwall or Rockland. If you have any info about these parades, please let me know and I’ll update the listings!
And don’t fret if you can’t make it to the parade – how about one of these other fun family events with a holiday theme in our region?
Santa’s Arrival Pajama Party at St Laurent Mall
Stay in your PJ’s and welcome Santa to the St Laurent Mall on Sunday, November 13th from 9 – 10 a.m in the food court. Santa will stay at the mall until 4 p.m. that day. Festivities include a pancake breakfast, holiday craft-making, live music and prize giveaways, including Ottawa Senators tickets. Tickets are $7, free for kids under age two, but all the proceeds go to the Ottawa Food Bank.
Christmas Lights Across Canada
Each year, the National Capital Commission coordinates the Christmas Lights Across Canada program. The Christmas Lights program was launched in 1985 to brighten the Ottawa winter, and at first the lights were only on Parliament Hill, but over the years the program expanded. Now, Ottawa and Gatineau glow each winter with more tha 300,000 Christmas lights at over 60 sites along Confederation Boulevard. The program also includes all 13 provincial and territorial capitals, making it Christmas Lights Across Canada. You can watch the lighting ceremony on Parliament Hill on Thursday December 1, starting at 6 pm. Here’s my shivery, embarrassingly amateur video of the 2006 lighting ceremony (you can see why I’m a photographer and not a videographer!!)
Upper Canada Village: Alight at Night
Over a quarter million lights adorn the heritage buildings, trees and fences of Upper Canada Village creating a one-of-a-kind magical backdrop for its annual Alight at Night Festival… a true winter wonderland! See the lights Thursday to Sunday from 4:30 pm to 9:00 pm starting December 2, 2011, and then nightly from December 19 – January 7 2012. (Closed December 24 & 25, 2011)
Manotick’s Olde Fashioned Christmas
Saturday December 3 and Sunday December 4, 2011. The Village is transformed into a Village of Yesteryear. There will be a Victorian Tea and Penny Sale, horse-drawn wagon rides, pictures with Santa, face painting, strolling carollers and more. I’m looking forward to the Sunset Carolling at Watson’s Mill!
2010 Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train hits the rails again in November, visiting over 140 communities. Since the program’s inception back in 1999, more than $5.6 million and over 2.45 million pounds of food has been collected in Canada and the United States. The goal of the Holiday Train is to collect food and money for local food banks and to raise awareness in the fight against hunger. At each event, the Holiday Train provides a box car stage, a line up of great musical talents and a corporate contribution to the local food bank. The community, in turn, is encouraged to donate food and funds, all of which stays in the community. Local stops include Smiths Falls at 8:00 pm on November 27 and Perth on November 28 2011 at 9:40 am.
Trees of Hope at the Chateau Laurier
Visit the Chateau Laurier for the tree lighting ceremony and silent auction November 28. The silent auction features over 300 items and the trees will be on display throughout public spaces of the hotel from Monday, November 29th to Wednesday, January 5th. During this time, the public is invited to drop by , vote on their favourite tree, and make a donation to CHEO.
Alexandria Festival of Lights
November 26 to January 1st, from 5 to 10 pm nightly. This is a community event that not only brings forth colorful trees but unique and individual displays from businesses, schools, and local organizations. There is no entrance fee into the festival for either the exhibitors or the public. Events include wagon rides, pictures with Santa and a scavenger hunt, plus fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
If I’ve missed anything, or if you’d like to share information about your family-friendly Ottawa Christmas or Holiday event, please feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at danicanada (at) gmail (dot) com and I’d be happy to add them to this post!
Let the holiday craziness begin!
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