Santa Claus makes a week­end stop in Nor­wich

Simcoe Reformer - Times-Reformer - - NEWS - CHRIS AB­BOTT Tillsonburg News cab­[email protected]­media.com

NOR­WICH- Sirens were wail­ing and chil­dren laugh­ing as the Nor­wich Santa Claus Pa­rade rolled through town Satur­day morn­ing, con­clud­ing with a float ded­i­cated to Santa and his rein­deer.

It’s all about the kids, said Ross Pol­lock, dis­trict fire chief for the town of Nor­wich.

“Kids sit­ting on Santa’s lap,” said Pol­lock, nod­ding to­ward a long line of chil­dren in the fire hall af­ter the pa­rade. “Santa does a good job re­lat­ing with the kids, and if you have a good Santa, that’s the best part.”

Or­ga­nized by the Nor­wich fire­fight­ers, and sup­ported by the Nor­wich Optimist Club and Nor­wich Mu­si­cal Society back at the hall, Satur­day’s pa­rade fea­tured more than 20 en­tries, in­clud­ing Emily Stowe Pub­lic School, the Nor­wich Mer­chants ju­nior hockey team, Nor­wich mi­nor hockey, ser­vice clubs, churches, politi­cians and busi­nesses. Many of them handed out candy to the hun­dreds of peo­ple lin­ing the side­walks.

“The fire de­part­ment has been putting this pa­rade on for prob­a­bly 40 years,” said Pol­lock, “and I’ve been part of it for 30 or bet­ter. I’ve been on the fire de­part­ment 33 years.

“It’s been a tra­di­tion in Nor­wich, the fire de­part­ment has al­ways looked af­ter the Santa Claus float - and usu­ally one of the mem­bers has played that part - and it’s al­ways been a pretty good success. Num­bers, it’s hard to tell when they’re spread out so far, but it’s just a tra­di­tion that we do ev­ery year. It works out well. We have a pretty good group of guys.”

In past years, or­ga­niz­ers ex­per­i­mented with a night-time pa­rade – sim­i­lar to pa­rades in Burgessville, Wood­stock and Port Bur­well – but switched back to day­time.

“In my opin­ion, I’d rather have it dur­ing the day,” said Pol­lock. “The lights are re­ally nice at night, but the safety can some­times be in ques­tion, in my opin­ion.”

It was the sec­ond year the Nor­wich Mu­si­cal Society band played live mu­sic at the fire hall af­ter the pa­rade.

“They found this works re­ally well for them, and it’s kind of nice to have the Christ­mas mu­sic while the kids are wait­ing in line. It works out well. In the old days, they used to march (in the pa­rade), (and) then they used to get on a float and ride in the pa­rade.”

The Nor­wich Optimist Club served hot choco­late and sup­plied candy for peo­ple vis­it­ing Santa Claus af­ter the pa­rade.

“They stepped up, which is great,” said Pol­lock.

Nor­wich Mu­si­cal Society's Nathan Pol (left) and Stephen Kring played trum­pets Satur­day in the Nor­wich fire hall af­ter the Santa Claus Pa­rade.

PHOTOS BY CHRIS AB­BOTT/POST­MEDIA NEWS Santa Claus was a big hit at the an­nual Nor­wich Santa Claus Pa­rade on Satur­day.

Kait­lyn Ryk­sen tells Santa Claus what she wants for Christ­mas Satur­day at the Nor­wich hall.

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