Day 52 – Santa Claus Parade (La Parade du Père Noël) on Rue Saint Catherine, Montréal

The Santa Claus parade in Montreal was the parade to end all parades. I have watched the Santa Claus parade from Toronto on T.V., and I have attended a few minor-league Santa Claus parades in my time, but I have never experienced a parade like this. 

This was a spectacle in the best sense of the word. The make-up and costumes were fabulous. The participants really embodied their characters, and there was quite a line-up. We saw dozens of varieties of elves, toy soldiers, dolls, clowns and Christmas fairies. The moon and the stars came down just for the occasion and were accompanied by a candy cane dance troupe, walking gingerbread cookies, playing cards, Christmas trees, bears, goats, cats, Ukranian dancers, christmas decorations, stilt- walkers, Mexican dancers, a Buddhist Band, the Bonhomme du Carnavale, singers, bakers, and the list goes on and on. 

The extra effort into putting it all together was definitely noticeable. The floats were top-notch and the choreography was impeccable. All this carnivalesque frolicking acting as an effervescent build-up to the brief but climactic Santa spotting at the end. Characters would intermittently announce that “Santa is on his way”, or that “Santa will be here soon” to build up the anticipation of the crowds who lined up for more than an hour in the cold. The little children’s hearts beat faster in their snowsuits, and at the very end, he finally arrived! Santa, ringing his bell, shouting Joyeux Noel and Merry Christmas, thanking the masses for coming to see him. We saw faces full of joy and wonder, amazed and in awe of their Christmas super hero. 

The strangest part of the whole event was that once Santa got to the end of the parade route, he was quickly ushered into a shiny black SUV surrounded by dozens of security dressed in black from head-to-toe. One of the mothers who was waiting at the end of the street was pretty disappointed that her son didn’t get to see Santa before he hurried into his getaway vehicle. I guess even Santa needs an entourage these days.



1 Response to “Day 52 – Santa Claus Parade (La Parade du Père Noël) on Rue Saint Catherine, Montréal”

  1. 1 3limes
    November 25, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    you made Francois and I homesick! Gorgeous!

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