It’s the most wonderful time of the year in the city’s east end as thousands of revelers are getting ready to line Kingston Road in the Upper Beach this Sunday for the seventh annual Hamper’s Santa Claus Parade.
This year’s Jingle Bells-themed parade, which will last about a hour, will get underway at 1 p.m.
Several marching bands, colourful floats, costumed characters as well as Santa and Mrs. Claus and Community Centre 55’s (CC55) mascot, Hamper the Reindeer, are all expected to make an appearance.
The parade will run along Kingston Road from Victoria Park Avenue to Walter Street and back to CC55 at 97 Main St. at Swanwick Avenue.
“It’s going to be very exciting and it looks like the weather is also going to hold out. Everyone is really looking forward to the Santa Claus parade,” said Nancy Culver, the local agency’s special events and volunteer coordinator, during a recent interview.
During the parade, Community Centre 55 and the Kingston Road Business Community (the parade’s organizers) will be collecting letters to Santa as well as toonies for the community centre’s 31st annual Share-A-Christmas program, which provides less fortunate families and individuals with food and gift hampers during Christmas.
All are welcome to stop by CC55 for a post-parade celebration, which will include hot dogs, hot cocoa, coffee and popcorn, crafts for the kids and a special visit with Santa.
The event also serves as the launch or the food drive, toy collection and volunteer recruitment effort for the Share-A-Christmas program.
“We’re so lucky to live in a community that supports the centre and our events on such a large scale. We’re also lucky to have the support of a number of local agencies,” Culver said.
Area residents are reminded that parking along the parade route is prohibited.
For more information, call 416-691-1113.
- Joanna Lavoie