Santa to be in new sleigh

Duane Hicks

The annual Christmas parade, this year entitled “Christmas at the Movies,” is all set to go this Sunday (Dec. 2) and it’s shaping up to be a holiday event to remember.
The parade will be held along Scott Street at 3 p.m., starting at Reid Avenue and ending at TD Canada Trust at Mowat Avenue.
Earlier in the day, there will be free photos with Santa from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Rainy Lake Square.
The photos will be done by a hired professional photographer, with Tim Hortons providing free hot chocolate.
Organizers said everything is in place for Sunday afternoon–now they just want to see people come downtown to enjoy it.
“I feel very confident,” said TD manager of customer experience Heather Gill, who is co-organizing the parade along with branch manager Katie Trigg.
All of the volunteers and sponsors are in place and she noted they’re expecting at least 18 participants, many of whom are planning to make their floats according to the theme.
“We’ve had a lot of interest, including some people who did not participate last year–some new people,” Gill remarked.
Among the participants will be the local Legion, which will be leading the parade, followed by the Salvation Army, which will be collecting donations of non-perishable food items and cash from parade-goers.
And of course, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be making an appearance in a shiny new ride, courtesy of TD and the Voyageur Lions Club of Fort Frances.
“The float’s going to be completely different this year and hopefully in years to come,” said Gill.
“I don’t want to give too much away,” she hinted.
“We’re very excited for the parade to happen and just hoping that people like the Santa float because some of our employees here are putting some effort into it,” she added.
The parade is presented by TD and Tbaytel, with 16 local sponsors providing prizes, supplies, and money for candy.
There will be four awards given out to the best floats. Fort Frances General Supply has donated the plaques while other local businesses have donated prizes.
The award categories and sponsors include “Most Christmas Spirit Award” (Northwoods Gallery & Gifts), “Best Use of Material Award” (McDonald’s Restaurant), “The Most Decked-Out Float” (Dairy Queen), and “People’s Choice” (Betty’s).
And kids should be aware that pretty much all of the floats will be handing out candy, noted Gill, adding some TD swag also will be given out.
Those interested in registering a last-minute float can e-mail