Vancouver Santa Claus Parade

Vancouver Santa Claus Parade
Most major cities in North America host a parade to kick off the Christmas season. The Toronto Santa Claus Parade probably is the best known Christmas parade in Canada, but it’s not the only one worthy of attention. For instance, the city of Vancouver hosts the annual Vancouver Santa Claus Parade which attracts over 300,000 spectators every year.

The Vancouver Santa Claus Parade was founded not so long ago. While the Toronto Santa Claus Parade began in 1905 and has a very long history, its Vancouver counterpart was held for the first time in 2004. It has quickly become one of the most anticipated holiday events in the city and a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors from all over British Columbia.

The parade has also grown to become one of the largest events of its kind in Canada, featuring more than 60 units including festive floats, choirs, marching bands, and community groups – a total of approximately 3,500 participants. The parade is held in downtown Vancouver. Its route is 1.8 kilometers long, it starts and Georgia and Broughton, travels east on Georgia, turns south on Howe, and finishes at Howe and Davie. With the route being quite long, there are great viewing spots all along the parade route.

The Vancouver Santa Claus Parade starts at 1 pm, but the festivities begin about two and a half hours earlier at the Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery at the corner of Georgia and Howe. Pre-parade fun includes live entertainment and family friendly activities such as gingerbread man decorating, face painting, Christmas tree ornament decorating, photo booths, balloon twisting, an entertainment stage featuring music and dance performances, and Letters to Santa station.

The parade is a food and fund raising event for the Food Bank. Since its inception, it has collected more then 75,000 lbs of food and $140,000 for hungry families in Canada’s Lower Mainland region. On the parade day, spectators are encouraged to bring a monetary or food donation for the Food Bank. Of course, all foods must be non-perishable. The Food Bank drop-off zone is located at Christmas Square. For each dollar donated by spectators, the Food Bank purchases three dollar’s worth of food.

Vancouver Santa Claus Parade

Photo by David Edwards




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