Santa and His Peeps

Last Sunday was the annual invasion of Santa hats, red noses, reindeers and marching bands. In other words: The Santa Claus Parade! And, as usual, I was in attendance. This year, I dragged my sister along.

Before we get to the festivities, I wanted to follow up on an issue mentioned in last year's post. Namely, the part where the crowd rushes to the front to see the man of the hour, without consideration for short people and those who travel seated. At that time, I had a conversation with the parade organizers on Twitter and they committed to creating a more accessible environment this year. I confirmed with them on Twitter a couple of days before the parade and was eager to see how it would work.

The street where I normally loiter had become the area where the bands' buses parked and that meant putting some crowd control in place. Unfortunately, whoever was in charge of this must've had a brain freeze. Because they can put the barricade in front of the curb cut. Sure, there was another one to the left of that, but still.

Berczy Park had been designated a wheelchair station, which was a terrific idea. It's close to the end of the parade, it's located in a small, quieter area with a nice sidewalk where there's loads of room for people using mobility aids. Unfortunately, that sidewalk was also cluttered with able-bodied people, many in camping chairs, settled in for the day. I love the idea of having designated wheelchair stations at a few places along the parade route, but would suggest that next year, some of the volunteers involved be positioned near these areas to make sure that they are used as intended.

And now for the parade photos. For years, I've posted lots of shots of floats and bands, but this year, I was closer to the action. So I decided to share the people that make up the parade.

The Toronto police marched near the front, led by the Chief of Police. Other than Santa, this was the guy who got the biggest round of applause. He's a bit of a hero in Toronto right now. Unfortunately, I only got a very blurry shot of him, so I'm posting these beauties instead. There were more horses later in the parade when the RCMP came along as well and I noticed that they had combed a maple leaf on the rumps of their horses. Unfortunately, no photo exists of this brilliance.

Blessings should be heaped on cheerleaders who did this for two hours and still looked as fresh as if they'd just started

and on these girls who were much younger, but still seemed to have a great time despite marching and waving and smiling for hours. While being dressed as bees.

There were quite a few parade participants in wheelchairs. This guy was in one of the bands, playing some sort of electrical guitar while being pushed by another band member. Next to them, a third bandmember pushed the amp.

This is important. Please contribute to the relief effort.

Had to get a shot of this line of little drummer boys.

Maybe she was naturally a happy person, maybe it was delirium?

I had to put up this shot of the One Direction float for Amanda. She's a huge fan.

I don't like clowns and I don't like monkeys. This is a perfect nightmare.

This guy was a real charmer

Yes, I know I said I don't like clowns, but I like this shot

No Canadian parade is complete without our national icon

And here he is. He was a good one this year.

I'm ready for Christmas now!


Anonymous said…
Love your photos! What a great timeyou must have had. I love parades. Ok,...whats up with you and monkeys? I completely get the dislike of clowns, they are creepy, but cute little monkeys?