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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex Centre Santa Claus Parade wows with nine marching bands

by Sylene Argent

Sleigh bells were ringing in celebration of the holiday season on Saturday evening as the annual Essex Centre Santa Claus Parade took place in downtown Essex.

  The Essex Centre BIA was again the major sponsor of the annual parade, which the Windsor Parade Corporation presented. In all, around 50 entries, included nine marching bands, delighted the throng of enthusiastic individuals who lined Talbot Street, nearly shoulder-to-shoulder, to take in the evening spectacle.

  This year’s parade theme was, “My Christmas Story.” Many of the float entries were designed to fit the holiday theme, while providing hundreds of twinkling lights to awe all those they passed along the parade route.

  Members of the Essex Rotary Club participated in the parade with shopping carts to collect non-perishable food items for the Essex Area Food Bank, as did volunteers for the St. Vincent de Paul.

  Members of Essex District High School’s popular Rotary Interact Club collected letters to Santa from all the good little boys and girls along the parade route, who wanted to convey their holiday wishes to Jolly Old Saint Nicholas ahead of Christmas Eve. In anticipation for the event, the Rotary Interact Club made a holiday-themed mailbox for the collection.

  Local firefighters, who walked along the parade route, also collected new, unwrapped toys for the annual Santa’s Cause for Kids program, which provides gift items to the Essex Salvation Army, the Essex Area Food Bank, the St. Vincent de Paul chapters in Harrow and McGregor, and the Zeta Kappa Sorority for its Santa’s Sack program.

  Area residents have until December 14 to donated new, unwrapped toys to the “Santa’s Cause for Kids” program and participating local businesses. Any late donations can be dropped off at Essex Fire Station #1.

  Santa and Mrs. Claus wrapped up the parade, waving to their friends in the crowd and sending holiday greetings as they made their way through Essex Centre.  

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