Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff

SANTA COMES TO SOUTH

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parade2

In winter, High Street on a Friday night after 6:00 PM is usually empty. Not tonight. Tonight vehicles are angle parked, from Victoria to Grosvenor, lining both sides of the street. Usually they drive in, engine first, but again, not tonight. Tonight they are facing out to the centre of the road. That’s the best way to get a great view of the Santa Claus Parade and stay warm at the same time.

You couldn’t do this in Toronto. You would be towed to a compound if your were foolish enough to leave your car on the parade route. But, that’s the way Toronto thinks. They need the room for the masses of people, the floats and the parade marshals zipping up and down the sidelines making sure everything is happening according to plan. Their parade is typically Toronto big. They should take a look at how small towns do it.

Santa brought his parade to Southampton and he was done in about 45 minutes. It was short, colourful and intimate. In the dark of a cold, windy, snowy Friday night, the lights on the floats shone brighter. Those participating and watching called out to each other by name, shouting encouragement. Clowns gave the kids and the adults candy. Laughter and smiles were everywhere. 

Brave pipers lead the parade. Some wore tights under their kilts. Some brave hearts left their knees exposed to the elements. Neighbouring towns entered floats as did local businesses. The Mayor and Council were out there freezing with the rest of us. Fire trucks, hugh tractors, horses, big dump trucks  pulled every thing along  without jamming the short route. The Shriners, as usual, were colourful and fun. Midsummer Cafe and the new Gift Shop dispensed hot coffee, dark and white hot chocolate. Some of the High Street stores stayed open for those who needed to Christmas shop. 

At the end of it all, Santa came down from his float and headed into the post office. There, he held court for the kids who personally delivered their letters.

That’s what I like about small towns…they can throw a parade without the hype. Its short and sweet. And Santa is not afraid to mingle with the locals…and the photos are free.

parade11(Pictures courtesy of http://www.saugeentimes.com)

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

December 6, 2008 at 8:29 PM

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