Thousands of spectators, over one hundred floats, and one jolly St. Nick are congregating downtown Carleton Place this holiday season for the largest Santa Claus parade in the Ottawa Valley. Amid a sparkling cascade of LED Christmas lights and under the dark winter sky, the BIA (Business Improvement Association) hosts the 8th Annual evening parade on Saturday, November 27, 2010. The train of spectacular floats – all of which will reflect this year’s theme of “A Disney Christmas” – will begin at 5:00 p.m. at Carambeck School and travel up the town’s main thoroughfare, Bridge Street.
BIA Coordinator Cathie McOrmond says she has never experienced such a joyous community occasion. “You will see the Christmas spirit is alive in Downtown Carleton Place when you see businesses, community groups, citizens of the community and visitors joining together to share their best wishes for the holidays season to everyone. ” said McOrmond.
‘Tis the season for giving, and the parade is an opportune time to get into the Christmas spirit. The Civitan Club will be collecting food for the Lanark County Food Bank and monetary donations for the Christmas Basket Fund. Meet Me “downtown” On The Mississippi to make a donation while breathing holiday cheer and reciting all the classic Christmas tunes. Parking is free in downtown Carleton Place, where visitors and residents can shop and dine amongst the 150 stores and restaurants.
Multiple plaques will be awarded to the most enthusiastic and decorative float designs that are consistent with the theme. At the end of the parade, a group of judges will select 1st, 2nd and 3rd of the Best Walking float, and the Best Use of Theme float, there will be awards for the Best Commercial float, Best Small Independent Business and the Best Overall float. After the grand finale of the parade, when Santa’s sleigh makes his crowning pass down Bridge Street, spectators are invited to the Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital for free hot chocolate, caroling and the annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.