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Bloomfield lights-up for Santa after two-year hiatus

Story and photos by Sharon Harrison
The illuminated night-time Santa Claus parade has been a Bloomfield institution for countless years, and with Christmas just one month away, it was the ideal prelude to the holiday season.

The only night-time festive lights parade of its kind in the County, the event draws thousands, and this year was no different, as people were eager to see its return following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Around for several decades, it’s an annual favourite for long-time residents, and a likely tradition to be adopted for those newer to the area.

Put together by the Bloomfield-Hallowell Recreation committee, Friday evening’s festivities included warming hot chocolate and chili in the Town Hall.

Before the parade started, children were able to create illuminated brooches outside the Bloomfield library using their crafty talents, with the help of the magical Department of Illumination volunteers.

Though forecast, the rain held off for the parade on what turned out to be a cool, but unseasonably pleasant evening to watch a parade.

The occasion was filled with memorable tunes, glowing lights and a great atmosphere, as hearts and minds were warmed putting many in the holiday spirit.

Wafting from the front of the Bloomfield United Church, joyful seasonal music added to the festive atmosphere.

Some village businesses remained open, folks browsed, some window shopped, others got Christmas shopping started, and festive window displays could be enjoyed by those standing streetside.

Everyone simply enjoyed the ambiance and warmth of the festive village setting bustling with a happy, smiling, cheering crowd as the parade of floats sailed by.

Beginning at the corner of Stanley Street and Shannon Road, the long parade wended its way along Main Street, ending at the eastern edge of the village by the car dealership and County Road 32.

The street was closed to traffic for the evening’s events ensuring everyone could spread out and keep safe.

The highlight of the night, of course, was the delightful big guy in his familiar red suit, long white beard and hearty laugh who made the special trip from the North Pole just for the occasion.

Santa Claus, riding aboard his spectacular sleigh, certainly didn’t disappoint the young ones, nor those younger at heart, for the fleeting visit.

Always greatly anticipated, and well worth the wait, Santa’s presence was enjoyed with enthusiastic waves, beaming faces, where some stood gazing in amazement, others excitedly jumping for joy.

Mark your calendars for next year as the Bloomfield night-time Santa Claus parade takes place on the fourth Friday of November every year.

Meanwhile, Picton’s Santa Claus parade takes place Sunday at 1 p.m., with Consecon’s parade set for Sunday, Dec. 4, at 1 p.m.

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