This year’s Santa Claus Parade – one of the early highlights of the Christmas season in Hay River – has been set for Nov. 29.

As usual, the parade is being organized by the Town of Hay River’s recreation department.

“Definitely it’s a way to bring that holiday spirit to us as a community as a whole,” said Dale Loutit, the main organizer of the parade and the recreation programmer supervisor with the town.

“And it’s a chance to see Santa Claus,” she added.

Santa waves from atop a float in the 2018 Santa Claus Parade in Hay River.
Nov. 30, 2018. NNSL file photo

As in previous years, the Santa Claus Parade will coincide with Midnight Madness, a Hay River Chamber of Commerce initiative to encourage community residents to shop locally during the gift-giving season.

“We always pick the same night as Midnight Madness because that is when everyone can come out and they’ll go shopping afterwards,” said Loutit. “It’s kind of like hitting two birds with one stone.”

Last year, about 15 floats and vehicles participated in the parade, including vehicles from the RCMP and the Hay River Fire Department.

“Every year it’s been good,” said Loutit.

She noted that any organization considering entering a float in the parade should contact the town in advance.

“We do try and get people to call the Recreation Centre to sign up and just let us know their names and what type of float they’re bringing so we can kind of gauge beforehand,” she said, although she added that people are also welcome to enter a float if they decide to do so at the last minute.

Loutit said the designs of the floats are left up to the various organizations.

“One thing that we do ask for safety is that there is a walker on each side of the float during the parade if you’re throwing candy so that there are watchers for kids running out to the floats,” she said.

There is no registration fee to enter a float in the parade.

On Nov. 29, the line-up for the parade will begin at 6 p.m. on the service road in front of Keith’s Water Service, and the parade will start at 6:30 p.m. It will head down Royal Road, along Woodland Drive through the downtown core, and end at Lepine Street.

“I hope to see everyone out,” said Loutit, who noted the Santa Claus Parade is great way to show holiday spirit.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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