Hundreds of people began lining the Main Street parade route as early as 1pm. Prime seats became hard to get for a great parade that gets better year after year and this year was no different.
Friends alike were seen along the parade route. Some people I haven’t seen in some time and a few people from out of town (as far as Orangeville I heard) to see what all the fuss was about. People come from far and wide to take part in Milton’s Santa Claus Parade.
Milton’s Santa Claus parade has a reputation for being one of the best in Ontario, let alone one of the best in Canada. This year had a bit of extra attention across Canada.
I opened my Friday’s edition of the National Post to see the result of a story first published in the Milton Canadian Champion by Melanie Hennessey. Organizers of the Milton Santa Claus parade had some hard decisions to make to keep the parade from becoming too long. They had made the decision to cut down on the extra cars or floats by asking Regional Chair Gary Carr, Halton MPP Ted Chuldliegh and Halton MP Garth Turner not to take part in this years parade.
Having politicians in a parade like this is tradition as far as I’m concerned. It goes along with all the other businesses and organizations that take part and create floats or cars or trucks.
I have no problem with having our local members being a part of the parade. But in the same breath, I am not the ones organizing. One would have to realize that hundreds and hundreds of hours are being volunteered by an untold number of people over the course of the year. To give you an idea, shortly after the new year the committee will reconvene to plan next years parade. Thats almost a years worth of planning. The parade was looking to be long (and it was this year) and they needed to make some cutbacks. There were some people that planned on being a part of the parade but couldnt. They looked to the current participants and decided that they could cut it down by the number of floats by removing the politicians. A hard decision mind you, but a necessary one according to members of the committee.
I was asked today that if I won the election last year, would I be upset if I wasnt able to be part of the parade today. Of course I would be upset, but I would accept the decision of the committee and move on.
Only the Mayor of Milton was asked to be the only politician allowed to participate in the parade. The theme of this years parade was for the 150th anniversary, a committee I have been part of since its inception back in 2005, and the floats and parade participants were to promote our 150th birthday year.
While Mr. Carr and Mr. Chudleigh were upset at not being allowed to take part in their usual way, they both showed class and stated they understood the decisions of the committee and planned to abide by it. Ted Chudleigh said that he would probably sit along the parade route with others and enjoy it as a spectator.
Over the past week this battle of words with Mr. Turner and those involved in running the parade reached a fever pitch where on his blog Garth stated that “he would walk the parade route with his dog” defying the committee and their decision.
Its gone beyond stupidity now with Garth claiming theres a conspiracy against him, and how the parade committee is partisan against him and its a way of shielding children from politicians and the political process and on and on and on. Its become so laughable its hard to believe that a grown man is making this much of a fuss about it. I hope it just goes away.
For those of you who were wondering, and as far as I could see, Garth didnt make an appearance on the parade route. In fact his name was brought up a couple of times, but only after the Mr. Grinch character made his way down by us did the name Garth Turner come up. Those who did bother to talk about this whole mess mentioned that its blown out of proportion and “SOMEONE” should grow up. I concur.
If someone is that bound on being in a parade, and the committee continues with their “ban” on politicians next year, maybe he can get involved in a number of organizations in order to be part of the parade and wave. He might have to put away his MP HALTON sash, but at least he can sit an wave.
The parade reached us in downtown Milton at about 225pm and Santa made his way at about 350pm. That made for a very long parade. Just imagine if there were politicians in the parade, eh? HA.
A great parade again this year and the people who planned this event should be congratulated!!! Excellent work this year. Pictures to be up shortly and if you have any, please feel free to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I can post them here as well. To those who took part in the parade and kept the crowd laughing and cheering along the route, thank you. And to those who braved the chilly wind with their kids, and holding tightly their hot chocolate from Troy’s Diner, shivering along the streets….thank you for coming out.
A classy event for a classy town. And no one was arrested for crashing the parade. A good day all around. Merry Christmas everyone!