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Mrs. Claus joins Santa for festive parade in Picton

Story and photos by Sharon Harrison
Busy as their schedule is at this time of the year, Santa and Mrs. Claus made time for the County’s children at Picton Santa Claus Parade, Sunday.

Floats and parade participants made their way from McFarland Drive, down the entire length of Picton’s Main street, finishing near the LCBO at Lake and Talbot streets.

Led by Royal Canadian Legion members, the parade included several marching bands, notably RCSCC Quinte Belleville Sea Cadets, The Concert Band of Cobourg and the Napanee and District Caledonia Pipe Band.

The Picton Pirates Hockey Club delighted fans along the parade route as did the PECI Concert Band. Rameses Camel Herders Unit brought camels, clowns and riders and the Picton Kinsmen rolled through on the ‘Kinsmen Express’ train.

It was a perfect day for a parade with balmy, spring-like weather appreciated by the gathering crowds.

Inflatable decorations included many familiar characters such Peanuts and Snoopy, Minions, Mickey Mouse and snowmen galore.

Other parade participants included 851 Prince Edward Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, The Salvation Army, Girl Guides and the Wellington Lions Dragon Boat Club.

Included in the parade were plenty of horses and riders courtesy of the Prince Edward Horse and Pony Club, as well as a contingent of therapy dogs.

Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis joined the parade, MPP Todd Smith too, along with PEC mayor-elect Steve Ferguson and a some PEC councillors.

Of course, the parade wasn’t complete without the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, where smiles and squeals from excitable children were in abundance.

The parade committee is a small group doing a big job and includes co-chairs, Debbie Rankin and Julie Miller, Matt Young from the Elks, David Fox of the volunteer firefighters and Frank Wright who is anchor and muster-master, together with help from the Picton BIA.

Miller, as parade co-chair, is involved in many different organizations and events in the community.

“I feel it’s critical for a vibrant and healthy society and this committee is the best!” she said. “We all have our specific jobs; everyone does them efficiently and with great humour.”

A pancake breakfast at the Prince Edward Yacht Club prior to the start of the parade saw proceeds going to Hospice Prince Edward. During the parade, Hartford and Stein Group Real Estate served up cider, hot chocolate and goodies.

And with a can of food as admission (for the foodbank), chili could be enjoyed at the Elks bazaar throughout the afternoon, which included crafts for children.

“We don’t have a huge budget and most goes to the bands we bring in,” said Miller.

Funds to unfold the parade come from the Picton Recreation Committee and local businesses, where donations are sought in September and October.

“Our most pressing concern currently is Santa’s float which is getting very tired,” added Miller. “We think it needs a total revitalization after this year as it’s the same float used by Bloomfield, Picton and Wellington each year.”

Miller said it is hoped some elves will raise dedicated funds to enable a rebuild of Santa’s ride in time for next year’s parade season.

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