Santa Claus to make early stop in Airdrie

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Santa Claus is taking time out of his very busy Christmas schedule and coming to town early for the sixth annual Santa Claus Parade Dec. 2, organized by the Airdrie Parades and Fireworks Committee.

The 30-minute parade on Main Street will kick off at 5 p.m., starting at Fletcher Park and ending at Ridgegate Way, according to Lynn Kehoe, who sits on the committee.

The theme for this year’s parade is ‘good ol’ hockey game,’ which Kehoe said was chosen to coincide with Rogers Hometown Hockey, taking over the parking lot in front of the twin arenas at Genesis Place Recreation Centre Dec. 16 and 17.

“We’re encouraging everybody to wear hockey jerseys and put a little hockey twist to their normal lighted float,” Kehoe said.

Float registration opened Oct. 23 and will close at 11:30 p.m. Nov. 27. Kehoe said the parade is currently half full and there is room for 20 more floats. She said she encourages local businesses to enter a float in the parade for the exposure.

“It’s really a fun way as a business to kick off the Christmas season, as well, and you get a lot of kids out. It’s just a fun, seasonal thing to do,” she said.

The parade, sponsored by Davis Chevrolet, usually attracts between 7,000 and 10,000 visitors each year, depending on the weather. Kehoe said thousands of Airdrie residents attend and visitors also come from surrounding communities, including Calgary.

“We get an awesome turnout for such a short parade,” she said. “I think it’s just a great kickoff to the holiday season. It’s pretty spectacular – lots of bright lights and music.”

Attendees are encouraged to head over to Nose Creek Park for the Airdrie Festival of Lights after the parade ends.

“Santa and Mrs. Claus are the finale of the parade and then they’ll go on to the festival of lights and turn on the lights and open up the festivities there,” Kehoe said.

Main Street will close at 4:30 p.m. and re-open 30 minutes after the parade ends.

For more information or to register a float, visit airdrieparades.com

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