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Fort Macleod Santa Claus parades through town Saturday, Nov. 28

ken hart

Ken Hart Sr. who has faithfully served the Santa Claus Parade as the Town Crier, adds honourary parade marshall to his title this year. The popular Fort Macleod resident will ride in the place of honour at the start of the 34th annual Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade.

Fort Macleod is following a tried and true formula for the 34th annual Santa Claus Parade.
Lighting of the community Christmas tree, carolling, late-night shopping, the parade, pancake breakfast, craft sales, auction and family dance are planned for Friday and Saturday, Nov. 27-28.
“I really have high hopes for a great turn-out, a celebration of our community,” 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 that is a day where we can celebrate who we are and enjoy our town and what we have to offer.”
It looks like the weather will co-operate, with a high of 4 Celsius forecast for Saturday at parade time.
Fifty-two parade entries were registered by Tuesday afternoon.
“We do have lots of community groups that participate, which we appreciate,” Edwards said. “We can always use more.”
Entries will be accepted right up until the parade starts at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The theme of the 2015 parade is “A Christmas Miracle on 24th Street.”
The theme gives a nod to the 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, in the movies that we’ve been in and been part of making,” Edwards said.
Ken Hart Sr.’s popularity as the Town Crier, who makes his rounds in advance of the parade to herald its approach, has grown over three decades and his arrival is anticipated nearly as much as that of Santa Claus.
Dressed in a yellow-green outfit, black hat and ringing a bell, Ken Hart Sr. each year makes his way along the route announcing the parade’s pending arrival.
Each year, the presence of the Town Crier in the parade is a focus for many people.
This year the popular senior will do double duty as Town Crier and honourary parade marshall.
People are reminded that volunteers will circulate the parade route with buckets to collect donations to help the organizing committee reach its $30,000 fund-raising goal.
“The parade is one of our biggest weekends, but it doesn’t come for free,” Edwards said. “If everybody can throw a little bit our way, we would be happy. We always need donations.”
“The caliber of parade that we want to have to showcase our community does cost money. We’re always looking for help.”
The parade is the centre piece of a weekend Christmas festival.
“For me, the parade is a throwback,” Edwards said. “It takes me back to when I was a kid. It was just a great day.”
Families who are separated by distance organize their Christmas celebrations in conjunction with parade weekend.
“It goes to show that you can’t keep a good thing down,” Edwards said. “Even last year it was bitterly cold and we still had people lining the streets hooting and hollering and cheering it on and having a grand old time.”
“No matter what the weather is, it’s still a great time.”
On Friday, Nov. 27 there is carolling at the west end of Main Street beginning at 6:45 p.m., with Fort Macleod’s own Broad Squad leading the singing.
The Chamber of Commerce will announce the winners of its annual window decorating contest for businesses.
Then a representative of Fort Macleod town council will choose someone from the audience to help light the community Christmas tree.
The Fort Macleod and District Chamber of Commerce has organized a Moonlight Madness late-night shopping promotion for Friday, which includes bonfires with roasted chestnuts on Main Street, craft sales and wagon rides.
Allied Arts is hosting its Giant Craft Sale at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall.
New this year is a craft sale in the old Reach’s building organized by the Fort Macleod Lions Club as a fund-raiser.
The event runs from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27 and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28.
Many other craft sales and activities are taking place Friday night in the downtown core.
Saturday, Nov. 28 starts with the A-T Children’s Project pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. at the corner of Third Avenue and Main Street. In the event of bad weather the breakfast will be held inside GMS Mechanical.
The 34th edition of the Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade gets under way at 11 a.m., with eight bands providing a musical soundtrack.
The Calgary Round-Up Band, Calgary Stetson Show Band, Calgary Show Band, Cranbrook Bugle Band, Webber Academy Band and Bishop Grandin Marching Band from Calgary, Spirit of Alberta Band from Magrath and the Adam Mason Steel Drum Band from Lethbridge are confirmed.
Following the parade people can enjoy the Knights of Columbus food barn.
Children can share their Christmas wish lists directly with jolly old Saint Nick during Pictures With Santa at The Macleod Gazette at 12:15 p.m.
Branch 46 of the Royal Canadian Legion is once again teaming up with the Empress Theatre to host a free children’s movie. Peanuts the Movie will be screened at 2 p.m.
The Rotary Club of Fort Macleod’s annual fund-raising auction gets under way at 2:30 p.m. at Southern Alberta Livestock Exchange (SALE).
The Christmas Festival concludes Saturday night with the family dance at 7 p.m. at the community hall sponsored by Hand In Hand Out of School Care.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. J. Moffitt Says:

    thanks for the info cant wait to see my first parade In Fort Mcleod I a bringing my grand daughter