Muskoka Post Staff
GRAVENHURST - Winter sports is the theme of this year’s Gravenhurst Santa Clause parade.
It’s time to get off the sidelines and help the community of Gravenhurst celebrate the holiday season. This year the 66th edition of the popular parade will take place on Saturday, November 23.
“We’re expecting to see skiers, curlers, hockey players and maybe even a bobsled or two if people are feeling really creative,” said Sandy Lockhart, executive director of the Gravenhurst Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the annual parade.
“The parade is always a big highlight of the holiday season for everyone in Gravenhurst. We typically get 50 or more floats and Muskoka Road is lined with people of all ages having a great time and getting into the spirit of things.”
The parade kicks off at 11 a.m., heading out from the Gravenhurst Legion before proceeding down First Street and then onto Muskoka Road.
Following the parade, Santa himself will be available to meet with children, and the young at heart, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church at 235 John St South. The Gravenhurst Lions Club are once again hosting the visit with Santa. Neviss Electrical Systems is the sponsor of photos with Santa. Those stopping in after the parade can get a picture with Jolly St. Nick.
Each child will receive pizza from The Pizza Station, a yogurt and apple slices from McDonald’s Gravenhurst and more. Christmas music will be provided by DJ Scotty D with Muskoka Music Source. EarlyON will also be onsite once again to do some fun crafting with the kids and the Lions Club will be providing colouring books and crayons to keep the fun going.
The Gravenhurst Fire Department is also hoping everyone is in the giving spirit. Firefighters from all three stations will be collecting toys for the Salvation Army.
“We really value making a difference in the community and each year we continue to see an increase in the generosity of our donors. I hope we can continue to provide many children joy this Christmas with the donations we receive,” said Danielle Ryan, a firefighter at Station 1.
Firefighters are asking those who are able, to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the parade, where firefighters will collect them along the route.
Residence Inn by Marriott Muskoka Wharf is also hosting a breakfast prior to the parade to help raise funds for those in need. Running from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The Marriott is encouraging guests to bring a non-perishable food or monetary donation when they come for breakfast. Donations will go to the Gravenhurst Salvation Army.
The 1st Gravenhurst Scouts will be running the Bucket Brigade once again. They will be carrying buckets to collect donations throughout the parade. A portion of that goes to scout programs.