Santa Claus parade returning to daytime

After years of being a night-time “Parade of Lights,” the local Business Improvement Association is bringing the Santa Claus parade back into the daylight hours on Saturday, Nov. 22.
“One of the reasons we want to do it is we want to create a Christmas environment in the downtown area, with decorations and sales at the stores,” said BIA chairperson Russ Ling.
“By having the parade in the daytime, the people can stay there and shop,” he noted.
“Another thing is the weather. In the evening, it can get pretty cold, especially for the little ones,” Ling added. “And, after all, the Santa Claus parade is for them.”
The BIA also plans to host other activities to coincide with the parade, including its popular “Lunch with Santa,” which is slated for 12:30 p.m. at the Rainy Lake Hotel.
Children also can have their pictures taken with Santa at this time.
The BIA will stage other activities downtown that day (more details will be released as plans are finalized).
The parade, which traditionally kicks off the holiday shopping season for local businesses, will start at 11 a.m. and follow its usual route from the Shevlin woodyard to the corner of Scott and Mowat.
This year’s theme is “Celebrating 100 Years.”
Once again, the local Salvation Army will lead the parade seeking collections for its food bank, with jolly St. Nick himself bringing up the rear.
The 2003 “Citizen of the Year” (who will be named in the next few weeks) also is slated to take part in the parade.
Anyone wishing to enter a float should contact Harlene Lowey at the BIA office for more info (274-7502).