BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN
Santa Claus waves to the crowd on Rosser Avenue as the annual Wealth Planning Group Brandon Santa Parade comes to an end on Saturday evening.
Bundled head to toe — with just their eyes poking out from behind their toques, scarves and winter outfits —Emersyn and Montana Geekie sat perched on a snowbank eagerly anticipating the arrival of the show’s star.
Brandon University members sing Christmas carols and wave to spectators during Saturday’s annual Wealth Planning Group Brandon Santa Parade on Rosser Avenue. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
A Girl Guide pokes her head from a tent set up on the group’s float during Saturday’s event, which featured nearly 50 floats. (BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN)
"Ho! Ho! Ho!" Santa said as he passed the five-year-old twin sisters at the corner of Sixth Street and Rosser Avenue as part of the Wealth Planning Group Brandon Santa Parade.
The girls, looking like a couple of miniature Michelin men in order to combat the winter conditions, were excited to tell jolly old Saint Nick what was on their Christmas wish list.
And with a puff of breath visible in the winter night’s air, Emersyn pulled down her scarf and asked for "an iPad."
Her sister was more interested in "clothes, shoes and a purse."
The pair, grinning ear to ear under their gear, were a microcosm of the overall excitement on the city street as thousands, many of them children, packed the parade route to get a look at Santa.
Free candy, handed out by elves in full holiday regalia, added to the buzz in the air.
With temperatures hovering right around seasonal normals, the parade route was packed.
Princess Park was a favourite destination for most to watch the show of lights. The park even featured two huge bonfires, free hot chocolate and music as carollers kept people entertained before fireworks exploded overhead as Santa, Mrs. Claus and their team of reindeer passed by.
From nativity scenes to carollers, and fire trucks to the big man himself, the parade had a little bit of everything in its nearly 50 floats.
"This is our cuatro ano, our fourth year we have participated in the Santa parade," said William Cruz, as his team made some last-minute alterations to their float that was complete with a tree, presents and a large El Salvador flag.
"We are trying to get involved in the community and as part of the El Salvadoran community I think that it is good to participate in the event because we come from another country and the event is very important for us," he said.
The float has evolved since the first year when they entered a small car and the group has been rewarded by winning prizes for their decorations.
He was also bundled up for the ride, although he said this year was nice compared to previous years.
"It’s not that cold today, but the past two years have been cold," Cruz said as children hoped up on the trailer bed behind him.
"They are very excited to be on the float and they have a lot of fun at this event," he said.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition November 19, 2012