But will Bad Boys save the parade?
You would think Santa and his reindeer would have job security for life!
Not in Streetsville.
After 42 years of tradition, the annual Santa Claus parade is no more. It’s just not every day Santa Claus is given his walking papers.
But it’s not really the story of being Santa being Scrooged. There’s nuance here.
Seems the Santa Claus Parade, a staple since 1974, is being replaced with the Streetsville Christmas in the Village Festival and market on Nov. 24-25. It will be two days of fun on the street instead of just a couple of hours is how those in favour are presenting it.
“Santa will still be here to take pictures with,” said Gloria Lippstamp, of Joanne Lipp European Skin Care. “There will be something for adults and the kids.” However, there are skeptics. “I wish they would put it back on,” said Ammar Al-kuwaiti, who owns the tasty Burger Legend. “It is our busiest day of the year.”
This year — instead of Queen St. being closed for three hours — it will be shut down for two blocks in and around the main square. Tents, Christmas displays and the offerings of local artisans and food vendors will fill the square.
“We were always on the parade route and served hot chocolate and had a barbecue with all proceeds going to the food bank,” said Dina Stearns, who works at Franklin House.
Customer Elizabeth Krog, 24, said as a kid, she looked forward to “sitting on the sidewalk” and waiting for Santa with her family. “It seems kind of weird to cancel it,” she said.
Even former Mississauga Mayor Hazel Mccallion was taken aback.
“I am disappointed,” she said. “I had been invited and had marked it on my calender. But then I was told at the Remembrance Day service it was not happening. I did not find out the reason why.”
But Lipp-stamp explained “it just got too big for us. We are just a small village and putting on the parade was a lot of work and expense and we don’t have the volunteers.”
In an e-mail to Streetsville Business Improvement Area members, Todd Ladner, of legendary Ladner’s Clothiers, explained perhaps the future could see the city of Mississauga “fund” and “organize” a Santa Claus parade in Streetsville but “the BIA is not a community group responsible for city entertainment events. Our mandate is to improve business for our Streetsville members. The Market will be outstanding for everyone!”
While a good point, not everyone sees it that way.
“No notice of any kind from no one to give a heads-up,” wrote Blaine Shaw in an e-mail to the BIA. “Has the all powerful dollar finally taken over the one time a year where children are first and not the bottom line? I hope a chunk of coal for each of you!”
But there could be a miracle around the corner if Mel and Blayne Lastman have any say!
The former Toronto mayor and his legendary Bad Boy retailer son have stepped up to try to save the cancelled parade.
“I think of the kids,” says Mel. “The kids have to have a Santa Claus parade at Christmas.”
Mel’s first call was to Mayor Bonnie Crombie’s office. “We reached out to her but she’s away at a meeting in New York. We’ve touched base with her office and got it started.”
Both Lastmans said if she backs the idea, and it’s something the residents and merchants want, they will make it happen.
“I am told it will cost between $40,000 to $50,000 to get the parade back on and I will try to get people to chip in,” added Blayne. “But no matter what, I am good for the $50,000.”
Move over the Grinch who stole Christmas. It just might be a couple of Bad Boys who help save it.
“My feeling on Christmas is the Santa Claus parade is for every kid and it shouldn’t cost a cent,” Mel added.
Store owner Ammar Al-kuwaiti serves up some burgers at Burger Legend in Streetsville.