Next Saturday marks the 17th annual Kiwanis Santa Claus Parade in Elmira. Surrounding the arrival of St. Nick himself will be a whole flurry of yuletide cheer from throughout the region.
A variety of floats, including a 53-foot trailer with a full hockey rink will be joined by six marching bands, including the Dutch Boy Drum and Bugle Corps and the Kitchener Brass Band, as the parade makes its way from William Street, through the downtown area on Arthur Street and ends up at the Royal Canadian Legion building on First Street.
The event helps kick off the holiday season in Woolwich.
Parade organizer and Elmira Kiwanis Club member Lyndon Ziegel has been in charge of making sure the festivities run smoothly for more than 10 years.
Ziegel began his involvement with the parade when he was a member of the former Jaycees service club in Elmira, taking the parade with him when he joined the Kiwanis Club.
Before the Jaycees started the parade in Elmira, kids and adults would take a bus into the city to watch the festivities.
“We started thinking, ‘Why are we sending buses all the way down to Kitchener-Waterloo to see the Santa Claus parade when we could have one right here in Elmira?’” Ziegel explained. “And 16 years later, we have one that is as big if not bigger than the one which runs in K-W.”
Though the event requires considerable effort, Ziegel said he enjoys being able to do it for the kids in his community.
“Last year we had a couple thousand people come out to watch. For the size of Elmira, when I see the turnout like this, I know we have done really well. It’s just a small way to give back to the community and I love doing it.”
For people interested in having a float in the parade, visit the Elmira Kiwanis Club’s website at www.elmirakiwanisclub.com or call Lyndon Ziegel at 519-669-0598.
The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. sharp on Dec. 5.