Whether you’ve been naughty or nice this year, you can still get some quality time with the big man in red this Sunday, Dec. 7, at the 2014 Rogers Santa Claus Parade in Vancouver.
The 11th annual parade and food drive, which seems to get bigger and better every year, is expected to attract 300,000 spectators, turning downtown Vancouver into a sea of Christmas colours and jingling bells.
Festivities begin at 10:30 a.m. at Coast Capital Savings Christmas Square in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Enjoy face painting, decorate gingerbread men, make Christmas tree ornaments and write letters to Santa, while listening to holiday grooves from Vancouver’s funky LeftCoast band. You can also donate non-perishable foods to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.
The parade itself kicks off at 1 p.m. sharp from the corner of Georgia and Broughton Streets. The 1.8-kilometre route travels along Georgia Street before turning up Howe Street and finishing on Davie Street. (See map below.)
This year’s parade features more than 3,500 participants. Expect to see marching bands, choirs belting out holiday songs, massive floats depicting Christmas scenes and a range of festively dressed community groups. The parade route is literally lined with spectators every year, so plan to arrive early to get a good spot.
Afterwards, don’t forget to head to Robson Square Ice Rink for a sit down with Santa himself from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Kids can have their photo taken with Santa, and the rink will be open for free ice skating.
The best part: All this fun is for a good cause. Since 2014, the parade has collected nearly 40 tons of food and $132,400 for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. Food bank volunteers in yellow ponchos will be collecting along the parade route and at the Christmas Square in front of the art gallery. According to the food bank, the top five most-needed items are: canned fish, meat or beans; natural peanut butter; whole-wheat pasta and rice; pasta sauce; and wholesome meals in a can.
For more details on the Rogers Santa Claus Parade, Sunday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m., visit the parade website.
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