The weather was sunny with some clouds. The people were lined up along Main Street all cuddling in their blankets. The kids had smiles on their faces a mile wide….yep, you guessed it.
Santa Claus was coming to town.
The big guy didnt disappoint anyone either as some of the best floats we have ever seen in the Milton parade made their way down Main Street.
We were perched out in front of Knox church to take in the festivities. My inlaws made their way up from Cathcart Ontario (in between Brantford and Paris if you have to google it) to witness what has been described as one of the best, if not THE best Santa Claus parades in Ontario.
Mike the Barber had his doors wide open giving out free hot chocolate, coffee and snacks for everyone! Thanks Mike!!!
The parade itself didnt last as long as last years with my calculation being just over an hour and a half to see Santa come down on his sleigh. Standing there in the chilling air, we could hear the ooo’s and ahhhh’s from those lining the streets as the floats got better and better. I dont know of the official count but it seemed there were less floats than previous years…which might lend to the fact that the parade didnt last as long either.
All in all I can honestly say that we had a blast and every year seems to improve on the previous one. This is just one of the reasons Milton is an amazing town. A well organized parade and the people of the town taking it all in.
Here is a story from the Champion by Stephanie Hounsell on the history of the parade in Milton. Local historian and member of the Milton Walk of Fame Jim Dills is a fantastic source of information.
For many Milton residents, the Christmas season unofficially kicks off when jolly old St. Nick makes his way through town at the tail of the Milton Santa Claus Parade, as he’ll do Sunday afternoon.
Although change has come to Milton in a big way over the past few years with its burgeoning population and ever-expanding neighbourhoods, it’s nice to see some things, like the annual parade, can be counted on.
Local historian Jim Dills has compiled a wealth of neat information on Santa’s arrival in Milton throughout the years.
According to Dills, Mr. Claus made his first appearance in 1907 at the shop of a local merchant.
There was no parade — that came later. But the tradition had begun.
Christmas celebrations were kept low-key in years like those during the First World War and in 1924 when there was an outbreak of measles, Dills said. But in 1925, the community and merchants organized a program that saw Santa ride along Main Street on the radiator of a motorcar.
A bona fide parade took place in 1933, and that continued for nearly two decades thanks to the Royal Canadian Legion and firefighters. Bags of candy were packed by volunteers and given out to kids along the route. In 1965, Santa arrived in spectacular fashion, via helicopter.
There were years, Dills wrote, when it doesn’t seem there was any parade at all. But more often than not, community groups and citizens went to great lengths to provide an experience that would usher in the Christmas spirit in celebratory fashion.
To this day, volunteers continue to spend hours and hours to ensure the tradition lives on.
A hearty thank you to you all.