A Fort Macleod parade has been a favourite stop for Santa since 1982.
St. Nick has visited the community every November since 1982 to help kick off the Christmas season.
“I am so proud of the people of this town and their generosity with the parade,” Santa Claus Parade co-ordinator Sue Risser said. “The parade is an important part of our history. Fort Macleod takes pride in putting on the largest Santa Claus Parade this side of Toronto.”
That community pride has continued to flow every year since 1982, as thousands of people dress warmly and line the streets of Fort Macleod to watch the parade, which lasts 45 minutes to an hour.
The Santa Claus Parade is one of the highlights of the annual Fort Macleod Christmas Festival. Organized by volunteers, the festival features two days of activity.
The weekend kicks off on Friday, Nov. 25 with a carol sing-along at the west end of Main Street, followed by the lighting of the community Christmas tree.
Other events on Friday night include wagon rides on Main Street and activities at The Fort — Museum of the North West Mounted Police. Merchants get into the spirit during Midnight Madness, a late-night shopping event.
Visitors can stock up on Christmas gifts during the Giant Stocking Sale on Saturday morning, Nov. 26 at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall. A variety of crafts and home-made items are sold during this event organized by the Allied Arts Society of Fort Macleod.
The highlight of the Christmas Festival is the Santa Claus Parade, which gets under way at 11 a.m. The streets are lined with people to view an amazing variety of floats and entries in the parade.
Following the parade, people can enjoy food at events hosted by local organizations, and there is a free children’s movie at the Empress Theatre.
Children can have their photographs taken with Santa at The Macleod Gazette immediately
following the parade. Proceeds are donated to a local charitable organization.
The Rotary Club of Fort Macleod hosts its annual fund-raising auction Saturday afternoon.
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump holds Heritage Through My Hands, a celebration of Blackfoot Culture, following the parade.
The Christmas Festival concludes with a family dance at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall on Saturday night.
For information contact Sue Risser at 403-715-2125.