In 2000, celebrating our 10th year, a new self-propelled Anniversary Train was built; an engine Train complete with two cars and a caboose. Of Course over the years Santa and lots of elves have been busy refurbishing and enhancing our 15 floats.
In 2009, one of the Original Committee Chairs Liz Porritt and several other committee members announced their “retirement” from the parade, with Liz Porritt haven given 20 years of volunteer to the parade. That year in September, a community meeting was held to attract and recruit new committee members. From that first “committee expansion” we saw many local residents step up and join our team and since then, have formed a major part of our current and permanent parade committee. Carlos Guerreiro, at that time a 17 year volunteer with the parade and Angelo Cundari, a 3 year volunteer took over the leadership role of the parade committee as Co-Chairs.
With this new committee of eager and driven volunteers, the parade added a new post parade event, “Skate with Santa”. Every year right after the parade is done, the community and parade spectators are invited to meet and take pictures with santa and of course skate with his elves at the Colonel Samuel Smith Skating Trail. This event has grown since its creation in 2013 and we envision it to grow to a much larger event in the following years.
With the further retiring of 3 key committee members in 2015, the committee successfully expanded its search for new team members once again in April 2016, with Carlos Guerreiro remaining on as the current committee Chair. Our new parade committee is well rounded with strong roots in the community and dedication to furthering the growth of this time honoured community tradition. We are a small core group, but tremendously dedicated volunteers who donate many hours each year to put this parade together. We sincerely thank these volunteers and the sponsors who make this magnificent event possible every year. All this hard work pays dues as our annual Christmas parade has been ranked as the 3rd largest Christmas parade in Ontario and the media has reported that 50,000+ people attend this parade yearly.
The parade fulfills an important role in our community as businesses, organizations, industry and residents come together to present the best of the community and put forth the best parade possible for the neighborhood. For this, we on the parade committee, are truly honoured to be a part of this wonderful community event. We thank you, the community for making us a success!