Sunday, November 20, 2011

♬ Santa Comes to Town ♬

You better watch out!
You better not cry!
Better not pout!
I'm telling you why . . .
Santa Claus is coming to town.
Song written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie, 1934

My brother and SIL treated me to a trip to the big city to see the world famous Santa Claus parade. I knew it's pretty popular in around these parts, but I have learned that it is broadcast in several countries in the far reaches of the globe. As we arrived at our chosen spot along the parade route with a cafe mocha in hand, the celebrity clowns passed by heading to the staging area. In exchange for costume and makeup, these folks support the parade with a generous donation. Way to go!

The 'posties' started off the parade by collecting the kids' letters to Santa. Canada Post does have a heart and waived the postage fee for this special delivery to the North Pole.

Then a familiar face took a time out from playing to come over and say hello. The Burlington Top Hat Marching Orchestra really put a lot of spunk into their performance.

Joining our local talent were a couple of bands from the US. Kelley's Heroes from Caledonia, NY, had me bopping to "Your a mean one, Mr. Grinch". I want whatever was in the elf's sack of "Holiday Cheer" because he was certainly having a good time.

Not all of the floats had moving parts, but none lacked spirit. These kids sang "Jingle Bells" at the top of their lungs, and the crowd cheered.

Perhaps to the chagrin of one of our not-so-illustrious senators, who has no other pressing issues to think about other than changing our nation's animal, the Canadian Beaver arrived in his canoe. We love our beavers!

But, it's true, we also love our polar bears. They are very cute.

And we're pretty fond of penguins too. And these ones could dance! However, Madame Senator, penguins are not indigenous to Canada so they probably shouldn't be contenders; but perhaps heritage is no longer relevant to your noble house? I leave you to your dilemma.

Which provides a nice segue into the Mr. Potato Head float. ;-)  I remember having lots of fun with Mr. Potato Head as a child and I was happy to see that he still amuses children. In an unfortunate quirk of fate, the photo happens to juxtapose Mr. Potato Head with our fine man in blue, who was very nice at managing the crowds and keeping his eye on the kids.

This float with dancing gingerbread was a favourite. Perhaps because I'm suffering cookie withdrawal.

For many of the floats, the products of its corporate sponsor were deftly worked into the design, such as a gingerbread house decorated with the recognizable donuts and "tim bits" of the nation's most ubiquitous purveyor of "double doubles".

At 98 years old, Toronto's Santa Claus Parade is the longest running children's parade in the world and for the first time in its history, Mrs. Claus had her own heart-warming float.

Behind the Mrs., rode the Royal Canadian Mounted Police honour guard. Wow, those steads are magnificent.

And, finally, the moment we had all been waiting for. The crowd's reaction to the appearance of the guest of honour was palpable. First heard was the intake of breath, followed by the silence of awe. Then came all the loud cheers and waving hands.
And then it was all over. :-(
Let's do it again!

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