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Santa Claus Parade needs financial support

Ashley Nelson

Ashley Nelson

The 36th annual Fort Macleod Santa Claus Parade is facing a cash crunch.
With parade weekend just 2 1/2 weeks away the organizing committee has received enough donations to cover just one-third of the $36,000 budget.
“The parade is a tradition for many here in Fort Macleod and surrounding communities to come with their family and friends and celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season together,” parade co-ordinator Ashley Nelson said. “This event really brings our community together as so many businesses, organizations and individuals donate their time, talents and resources to make this happen.”
Great weather and strong community support combined last year to make the 35th anniversary version of the parade special, with a record number of entries and an estimated 12,000 people lining the route.
A personnel change that saw Nelson hired as co-ordinator at the end of September put planning behind schedule.
“I believe for the most part that we have things caught up and I am super excited to be the parade co-ordinator this year,” Nelson said.
The Santa Claus Parade committee has been told the Town of Fort Macleod will contribute $5,000 and the Gordon Elgin estate will chip in the same amount.
Other donations total just $2,700, leaving the committee well short of the $36,000 budget.
“That means we aren’t quite even half way there as far as donations needed,” said Nelson, who admits to being “slightly worried” about the parade’s financial situation. “Donations would be greatly appreciated.”
Donations can be mailed to Santa Claus Parade at P.O. Box 928, Fort Macleod, T0L 0Z0. Cheques can be made payable to the Town of Fort Macleod, which can issue a charitable tax receipt.
A large portion of the committee’s budget is transportation costs for the bands.
So far, the Calgary Round Up Band, the Stetson Band and Stampede Show Band have confirmed their attendance.
Magrath High School Band and the Trifecta Homeschool Choir have expressed interest but have not yet confirmed their attendance.
“I’m still hopeful that I will hear back from a few more bands shortly,” Nelson said.
Another area that is lacking is registration of entries for the parade, which has the theme “Celebrating Canada 150.”
To register, contact Nelson at or call 403-715-2125.
The Santa Claus Parade is the centerpiece of a Christmas festival that includes carolling, tree-lighting, bonfires, fireworks, free beef-on-a-bun, wagon rides, crafts sales and late-night shopping on Friday, Nov. 24.
On Saturday, Nov. 25 there is a pancake breakfast, craft sales, a food barn at Holy Cross hall, pictures with Santa, the Rotary auction and a family dance.
“There is so much generosity, hard work and love that goes into it,” Nelson said. “It’s always such a great feeling to be out in the streets of Fort Macleod not only during the parade, but for our whole Christmas festival weekend as well, enjoying all the numerous events and activities.”

1 Comments For This Post

  1. keith Says:

    did you not put out donation boxes at local business as in the past ex, beer stores extra foods ect. ect. I know I,m a supporter this way, ???? I will help out with a donation next week when in town keith at hill spring ab.