Santa com­ing to Chatham on Fri­day

Dif­fer­ent route, but pa­rade will re­main down­town

The Chatham Daily News - - NEWS - TOM MOR­RI­SON POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

The His­toric Down­town Chatham Busi­ness Im­prove­ment Area is tak­ing over this year’s Santa Claus Pa­rade, but or­ga­niz­ers say it will mostly be busi­ness as usual, de­spite a change in the route.

The Down­town Chatham Cen­tre or­ga­nized the event for the last time last year, so the BIA stepped in for this year. They had pre­vi­ously or­ga­nized it in 2013.

“The only dif­fer­ence is there wasn’t a lot of time be­cause, when the DCC de­cided they weren’t go­ing to do it any­more, they were look­ing for an or­ga­ni­za­tion or char­ity group to take it on and when no­body stepped up – be­cause it’s a lot of work – then we de­cided to move for­ward with it,” said Con­nie Beneteau, project co-or­di­na­tor with the BIA.

As of Mon­day, about 80 floats had been reg­is­tered for Fri­day’s pa­rade. Beneteau said she ex­pects a few late ad­di­tions be­fore the event.

The pa­rade will start at 6:30 p.m. and head over the Third Street Bridge, left onto King Street West and end at the WISH Cen­tre, where Santa will visit with chil­dren.

The 100-piece Port Huron Big Red March­ing Band, the KingsvilleEs­sex As­so­ci­ated Band and the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion Pipe Band will per­form.

“Santa Claus Pa­rade is al­ways our warm and fuzzy (event),” said Beneteau. “There’s no real mone­tary ben­e­fit, other than mak­ing peo­ple feel good. And since we’re the first one of all of Chatham-Kent, we get to kick off Christ­mas.”

The theme this year is Christ­mas in the City, which Beneteau said could mean dif­fer­ent things to all of the peo­ple par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pa­rade.

Be­fore the pa­rade, there will be a fam­ily fun run called Flaunt Your Flan­nel – Santa Edi­tion. The fivek­ilo­me­tre run or walk will last from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ahead of the pa­rade.

Two groups will be col­lect­ing canned goods, and Tor­bram Elec­tric Sup­ply will be col­lect­ing teddy bears.

The whole pa­rade should last about two hours.

“We’re en­cour­ag­ing every­one to come to down­town King Street with their lawn chairs and their blan­kets – it’s go­ing to be cool – and par­tic­i­pate all down King Street West,” said Beneteau.

FILE PHOTO/POST­MEDIA NET­WORK

Santa Claus will be com­ing to down­town Chatham on Fri­day for the an­nual Santa Claus Pa­rade that be­gins at 6:30 p.m.

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