'Reverse' Santa Claus parade being considered in Seaforth
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
The Seaforth Lions Club is hoping to proceed with a new kind of Santa Claus parade next month with the blessing of Huron East Council.
Cathy Elliott spoke to the proposal at Huron East Council’s Oct. 20 meeting, asking council to bless the event and authorize the closure of Hensall Road between 7-8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27, the night of the parade.
The parade, Elliott explained, would be almost like a reverse parade, where the floats would be aligned along Hensall Road for one hour while residents and others can drive the route, directed along the way by Lions Club members, and see all of the floats before exiting onto the highway.
Elliott told council she has been planning the event extensively with the Lions Club, including informing the nearby Hensall Co-op location of the parade in order to ask farmers not to bring in corn during that hour.
She told council that she felt the parade would bring a level of normalcy to the community in a year that has been anything but normal.
Councillor Gloria Wilbee asked if the town’s downtown businesses would be open that night, a practice which has traditionally been a staple of the Santa Claus parade. Elliott said she couldn’t say for sure, but that if she received a positive response from council, a suggestion that local businesses be open that night would then go to the Business Improvement Area (BIA) for consideration.
Mayor Bernie MacLellan said council needed to consider the advice of Huron Perth Public Health Medical Officer of Health Dr. Miriam Klassen, who has advised against hosting parades this holiday season. However, he wasn’t sure if this exact proposal had been presented to Klassen as an alternative. With everyone in their car, in their own bubble, MacLellan felt it was the safest way to carry out a parade alternative.
Elliott agreed, saying that having people in their own cars is manageable, whereas having pedestrians would be too difficult to police. She said there would be strict enforcement on that and pedestrians would not be allowed to take in the parade on foot.
Council discussed the issue further later in the meeting with unanimous support for the idea, as long as it’s carried out in a safe manner.
Staff will prepare a bylaw for council’s next meeting to close the road for the time of the parade to be voted on at council’s Nov. 3 meeting.