A ‘kickoff’ to the holidays for families
‘Tis the season as the annual Santa Claus parade makes its rounds on the streets of downtown Toronto
For some families, some things — like getting the family downtown to watch the Santa Claus Parade — you just don’t mess with. That’s the way it is for Scott Cuthbertson and his wife Erin, who take their daughter, 5-year-old Jaime, to greet Santa every year.
“I’m pretty Christmasy — but my wife, Erin, is very Christmasy,” Scott says.
Actually, Erin is already out buying Christmas presents. But it’s the parade that’s special for Scott. As a big fan of parades and bagpipes, Scott always looks forward to the marching bands and the drum corps.
“It’s amazing, you get all these military bands from all over, it’s the only time of the year when you get to see all of them together at one time,” he says.
In fact, 20 to 25 bands march in the parade every year, and the parade is approached by bands from all over North America and Europe.
“There are other parades, but the Santa Claus Parade is like the Super Bowl of parades,” says Scott.
Scott’s best memories come from riding in golf carts in the parade, as a friend’s dad was involved in running auxiliary routes in the parade. “I’d go out with classmates,” Scott says. “As a kid, it was a blast riding in the carts!”
Now that Scott and Erin take their daughter to the parade, he gets a little sentimental. “You live vicariously through your kids,” he says. “There was a stretch of about a decade when I was too old to go with my parents, and I was single so I didn’t go — I really missed it.”
“There are other parades, but the Santa Claus parade is like the Super Bowl of parades.”
Now, Scott and his family make a day out of it, arranging to meet up with friends, grabbing a bite to eat when all is wrapped up.
“It’s the kickoff to the Christmas season for me,” Scott says. “Since my company and others slow down over the holidays, it’s really the only time of the year that’s a true holiday for me and a fresh start in the new year.”
Asked for his No. 1 tip for enjoying the parade, Scott says that’s an easy one: “Get there early and get a good spot.” This way, you won’t miss their daughter Jaime’s favourite part: the clowns handing out candy.
Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus right down University Ave. this Sunday.
Leave extra early to snag that perfect spot and bundle those kiddies up when heading down to the parade.
Some spectators do more than just watch the parade, they join in on the fun.