A sensory friendly zone and a meet and greet with the big man himself after the parade are two changes that the Fort Frances Kiwanis Club is making for its third year running the Fort Frances Santa Claus Parade.
With former president McKenna Begin taking on more responsibilities with Kiwanis International, Dana-Lynn Begin is the newly elected president of the Fort Frances Kiwanis Club. She says the hope for the sensory friendly section of the parade is to make it a great experience for everyone, even those who have issues processing the lights and noises that can come along with a parade.
“The committee felt like there are some children and adults that are sensitive to the flashing lights and sirens,” Begin said. “So they just wanted to be conscientious for everybody attending the parade and just make it enjoyable for everyone.”
The sensory-sensitive section will be at the start of the parade from Reid Ave. to Butler Ave. So after the parade passes the Ambulance base at the corner of Scott St. and Butler Ave. the lights and sirens will start going.
The second addition to the parade will come after the end of the procession. Santa Claus will be making a stop in Rainy Lake Square
“This year after the parade we are inviting everyone to join in the suwar to meet Santa and have pictures taken,” Begin said. “We’ll also be having hot chocolate and marshmallows in the square donated by New Gold and marshmallows donated by TD Bank.”
They’re also looking for local craft or snack vendors to come out to the square and set up after the parade. Interested vendors can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
As of last Friday there were 26 floats registered and lots of room for more, Begin says. They would like all the floats registered by the end of November so they have some time to get the parade layout set up and make sure there is enough room for all of the floats to get into the lot. There is a Google form to register a float on the event’s Facebook page which you can find if you look up the “Kiwanis Club of Fort Frances Inc.” page.
The parade sets out at 5:30 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 2. It will travel down Scott St. from the Fort Frances Public Library Technology Centre with the meet and greet with Santa at the Rainy Lake Square.