Santa coming to town on Saturday evening

·2 min read

In order to welcome the jolly old elf to Aylmer, while keeping everyone safe, spectators and floats will swap roles for a “reverse” Santa Claus Parade this year.

Aylmer Kinsmen Club’s 76th annual Santa Claus Parade will take place at night and have spectators drive past light displays, characters, floats, and Santa himself, while remaining in their own vehicles.

“We’re going to do our best to make it enjoyable – it’s important that Santa comes to town,” said Andy Beck, the club’s parade marshal for the last eight years. The Santa Claus parade normally attracts thousands of people each year, he added.

East Elgin Community Complex will host the “drive-through parade” on Saturday, Nov. 28 starting at 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

Instead of moving through town, floats would be fixed in place and include plenty of lights along with some Christmas music. Spectators would be driving past them along a planned route circling the complex parking lot. (See ad on Page 3 for parade details and route.)

No pedestrians are permitted. Visitors must stay in their cars, except for emergencies. No open vehicles, such as motorcycles or convertibles, are allowed. There will be no candy or other handouts this year, and the Kinsmen are asking anyone who is feeling ill to stay home.

Kinsmen and EECC volunteers be outside directing traffic flow. Vehicles will enter from the east, and exit from the west. Drivers can use Rogers Road to return to town.

All volunteers will wear face coverings at the event and practice physical distancing. Some Kinsmen will wear red jackets, while others may be dressed as clowns or Santa’s elves. The Aylmer Fire Department will also make an appearance at the event.

The Kinsmen are inviting spectators to donate canned food and monetary donations for the Aylmer Corner Cupboard. Monetary donations will be placed in a collection bucket, while food donations should be delivered using a bag with a handle. The Kinsmen will have extra bags if needed.

The Kinsmen will use a hockey stick with a bucket to collect from a distance. Letters to Santa are also encouraged. Donations will be quarantined for 72 hours before being distributed to the Aylmer Corner Cupboard or Canada Post.

There is no washroom availability or access to the EECC.

“The Santa Claus parade is the main event for the Kinsmen all year. We’re always talking about it, it’s always in process,” said Mr. Beck. “We’re hoping people come to visit and see Santa Claus.”

Veronica Reiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Aylmer Express