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Fort Macleod 2012 Santa Claus Parade celebrates milestones

Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade last year celebrated an important milestone with its 30th anniversary.
That got organizers thinking it might be important to help other organizations celebrate their own milestones.
“Celebrating Southern Alberta’s Milestones” is the theme of the 2012 Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24.
It’s a timely theme, with the historic Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod marking its 100th anniversary in 2012, and ATCO Gas also marking the centennial of delivery of natural gas to Fort Macleod and other communities in southern Alberta.
Other milestones singled out for recognition by parade organizers include the 112th anniversary of the Fort Macleod Hospital Auxiliary, the 40th anniversary of the Musical Ride at The Fort — Museum of the North West Mounted Police in Fort Macleod, and the 25th anniversary of the opening of the interpretive centre at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.
Parade organizers also invited the Calgary Stampede, which in 2012 is celebrating its own centennial, to take part. The Calgary Stampede will take part in the parade and is bringing its breakfast wagon for a pancake and sausage breakfast from 9-10:30 a.m. Nov. 24 at the corner of Third Avenue and Main Street. Donations will be accepted with proceeds split between the A-T Children’s Project and the Santa Claus Parade committee.
Fort Macleod’s 2012 Christmas Festival gets under way at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23 with the Moonlight Madness late night shopping event.
The Fort Macleod Hospital Auxiliary will hold its fund-raising bake sale in the library from 6-10 p.m., and free wagon rides on Main Street will be sponsored from 6:30-9 p.m. by Young Parkyn McNab, the Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Claus Parade committee.
Fort Macleod Allied Arts gets its annual Giant Christmas Craft sale under way at 6 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall. The sale continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24.
People are urged to gather at the west end of Main Street at 6:45 p.m. Nov. 23 for carolling and hot chocolate, followed by the lighting of the community Christmas tree.
The Fort — Museum of the North West Mounted Police will hold its annual Yuletide Fest at 7 p.m. Nov. 23, continuing Nov. 24 from 12 noon to 4 p.m.
The Santa Claus Parade is the centerpiece of Fort Macleod’s Christmas Festival, and it gets under way Nov. 24 at 11 a.m.
The parade, which last year attracted more than 100 entries, will make its way north on Second Avenue before turning east on Main Street.
In addition to the floats and other colourful entries, the parade will feature eight bands to provide a seasonal soundtrack. The bands are Calgary Stampede Show Band, Calgary Arts Academy, Bishop Grandin Marching Ghosts, Calgary Stetson Band, Calgary Round-up Band, Raymond Junior-Senior Percussion Ensemble, Sophmore Jakes and Pangea Steel Band.
Following the parade, Fort Macleod Knights of Columbus will operate their Food Barn as a fund-raiser from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. at the Holy Cross Parish Hall.
Children can get their photo taken with Santa from 12:15-1:30 p.m. at The Macleod Gazette on Main Street. The Macleod Gazette runs Pictures With Santa as a fund-raiser, with proceeds donated to Fort Macleod Kids First Family Center. There is no fee, but donations are accepted.
Fort Macleod Legion and Family and Community Support Services will host a free family movie at 2 p.m. Nov. 24 at the Empress Theatre.
The Rotary Club of Fort Macleod will host its annual fund-raising auction of items donated by the community at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 24 at the Midnight Stadium Agriplex. All proceeds are spent on community projects.
The 30th annual family dance is set for 7-10 p.m. Nov. 24 at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall, sponsored by Hand In Hand Out of School Care.
The Irish Rovers bring their farewell tour to the Empress Theatre at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 25.
Anyone interested in taking part in the parade should register with co-ordinator Sue Risser at 403-715-2125.

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