Christmas Parade organizers collecting donations, selling buttons

Santa is coming to town early again this year – for the annual Niagara-on-the-Lake Christmas Parade.

But it wouldn’t be possible without the support of a team of dedicated volunteers working on the town’s parade committee.

The committee is soliciting donations from the community and selling commemorative buttons to help cover parade costs.

“I would just ask everyone to donate as much as they can,” John Strecker, one of the committee members, said in an interview.

“It goes to a great cause and keeps the parade viable,” he said.

The other committee members are Gerry Brand, Phil Brunt, Mike Carleton, Terry Choules, Dan Djakalovic, Robin Fraser, Mearl Obee and Roger Schmid.

Strecker and his team have already distributed donation boxes around town. The boxes are chock full of buttons that sell for $3 each.

In past years, button sales have generated about $5,000 in revenue, which helps offset costs associated with the marching bands and floats.

The committee also has a new float for Santa this year.

“We've been using the same float I think for the last 20 to 25 years and it was starting to get a little long in the tooth,” Strecker said.

Donation boxes can be found at the Avondale stores in St. Davids and on Mary Street, Bricks & Barley, Sweets & Swirls in the community centre, the Grist, Hendricks Independent Grocer, the Sandtrap, Starbucks in Old Town and Virgil, and at the Tim Hortons in Virgil.

A team of volunteers will be selling buttons this Saturday, Nov. 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Phil's Independent Grocer and Penner's Home Hardware in Virgil.

People can also purchase buttons along the route on parade day.

Evan Loree, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Lake Report