Overwaitea Foods displays their Chistmas float at last year’s Santa Claus Parade. This year the event is taking place on Nov. 25 at 6 p.m.

Santa Claus Parade is almost here

The 2011 version of the Santa Claus Parade will have something for children of all ages.

Get ready for hot chocolate, bright lights on floats, and Santa Claus as the Kicking Horse Country Chamber of Commerce is hosting the annual Christmas Parade through downtown Golden on Nov. 25 at 6 p.m.

“It’s a wonderful Christmas tradition,” said Ruth Kowalski, manager of the Chamber. “And the fact that it’s an evening parade makes it quite special.”

The floats created by local business and groups will be lit up as they travel from 9th Avenue N., over the bridge to 7th Street S. where the parade ends.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to showcase what their cause or what their business is all about, and have some fun interacting with the community at the same time,” said Chamber President Jordan Petrovics.

Last year, the parade displayed more than 15 floats as Petrovics and Coun. Mike Pecora announced each one from their emcee booth.

This year look out for floats from the Scouts and Girl Guides, and McDonalds, which will feature Grimace and the Hamburglar. Santa Claus will be bringing up the rear on the Countrywide Home Furnishings float.

Santa will also be hanging out at Countrywide from 7 to 9 p.m. to take photos. Bring your own camera, and get your picture taken with Santa for free.

“We’ve been doing the parade for quite a few years now, and every year it seems to be growing in terms of the amount of people that come out, and every year the chamber has been working on growing the event a little bit more,” said Petrovics, who will be announcing the parade again this year.

There will be three warming stations along the route, and several businesses will be remaining open late so that parade goers can warm up inside, and do some Christmas shopping.

“This year, one of the other neat things, is the Craft Fair (at the Mount 7 Rec Plex) is happening on the same weekend as well, so it’s a nice tie-in with that,” said Petrovics. “People can come do a bit of browsing at some of the businesses that will be open a bit later on the Friday night, they can hit up the craft fair before or after, check out things there, and see what the parade is all about.”

Back for the second time this year is Kicking Horse Mountain Resort’s ‘Fill a Gondola Full of Joy’ challenge.

“We bring down one of our gondola cabins, and we park right outside of the post office, and we encourage all the public to bring down donations for the food bank,” said Petrovics, who also handles the public relations for KHMR. “The goal is to fill the entire gondola full of food. And our goal is to beat what we did last year.”

The resort is also setting up shop at the Crooked Antler on 9th Avenue N. from 4 to 8 p.m. for early pick-up for season’s passes.

“Anyone who wants to beat the lineups on opening weekend can come into the Crooked Antler and pick up their pass on Friday,” said Petrovics.

Kowalski is hoping that the weather co-operates for the event, but she is also asking that people refrain from parking on 9th Avenue N., from Sobeys to the bridge, from 5 to 7 p.m.

But feel free to come hungry. There will be two barbecues set up during the night selling hotdogs and hamburgers. Falkins Insurance will be set up in front of their office, raising money for their employees who are participating in the Bridge to Communities project, which builds homes for the under-privileged in Nicaragua. And the Golden Kicking Horse Alpine Team will be cooking up a storm at Kumsheem Park opposite the movie theatre raising money for the club.

“The Christmas Parade has always been a great success, and a great way to rally our community’s support,” said Petrovics.

“We have great representation from not-for-profits, as well as businesses. So we encourage all the public to come down, bring their food donation, and hang out downtown for the annual Christmas Parade.”