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Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade committee preparing for town’s big event

The Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade Committee is making its list — and checking it twice — in preparation for St. Nick’s arrival.
Planning is progressing well for the 34th annual parade on Saturday, Nov. 28 as the committee strives to continue the event’s tradition of excellence.
“I really have high hopes for a great turn-out, a celebration of our community,” Santa Claus Parade co-ordinator Kristi Edwards said.
“This is one of the biggest events that we hold throughout the year where it really is just about Fort Macleod. I really hope we can celebrate who we are and enjoy our town and what it has to offer.”
To that end, the committee is encouraging financial support, volunteer help and community participation in the parade.
The theme of the 2015 parade is “A Christmas Miracle on 24th Street.”
The theme gives a nod to th 1947 movie “Miracle on 34th Street” as well as the actual address of Fort Macleod’s historic Main Street — 24th Street.
“What we’re hoping to do is pay homage to our town’s involvement in the film industry,” Edwards said, referring to scenes from movies such as “Interstellar” and the TV series “Fargo” having been filmed on Main Street.
Committee members are hopeful people will decorate their floats and businesses to the theme.
“The more creative, the better,” Edwards said.
The committee is encouraging businesses and community organizations to put an entry in the parade, while recognizing that it is a busy weekend and people have other commitments.
Community participation is one of the aspects that makes the parade a success, and people in the crowd enjoy seeing local businesses and groups represented.
“We do have lots of community groups that do participate, which we do appreciate,” Edwards said. “There is always room for more.”
There is also always room for more volunteers when it comes to staging the parade.
“We have a core of amazing volunteers who are working hard for the parade, but I will never say no to more,” Edwards said of people interested in volunteering. “We will find a job for anyone who wants to help. There’s always something to do.”
Fund-raising is an annual challenge for the committee as it works to put together the $35,000 budget required to stage the parade.
“The parade is one of our biggest weekends but it doesn’t come for free,” Edwards said. “We always need donations. The parade is not inexpensive.”
“The caliber of parade we want to put on and the showcase that we want to have within our community does cost money, so we’re always looking for help in that department.”
Five bands have confirmed their participation in the 2015 parade, and the committee is waiting to hear from six others.
The Calgary Round-Up Band, Calgary Stetson Show Band, Cranbrook Bugle Band, Western Academy Band from Calgary and the Pangea Steel Drum Band from Lethbridge are confirmed.
Other events confirmed for the weekend include carolling and lighting of the community Christmas tree, the Moonlight Madness late-night shopping promotion, bonfires on Main Street, Giant Craft Sale and the Yuletide Fest at the Fort Museum on Nov. 27.
Parade day Nov. 28 starts with the A-T Children’s Project pancake breakfast, followed by the parade, the Knights of Columbus food barn, Pictures With Santa, the free children’s movie hosted by the Legion and Empress Theatre, the Rotary auction and the family dance.
Anyone interested in donating to the parade, or volunteering, can contact Kristi Edwards at 403-715-2125 or santaclausparade@fortmacleod.com.

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