| Nov 28, 2018

Sydenham opened the local Santa Claus parade season last Saturday with the most parade participants ever.

For a photographer, the best place to start is at the firehall while the parade is being assembled. Excitement is high, nobody’s chilled to the bone yet, people are happy to pose and chat.

I found out that Matt Trousdale hopes to use the ancient zamboni he drove in the parade to make a village rink on the lake near the boat launch this winter. “The ice had better be a foot thick,” said his father; “That thing weighs two and a half tons when it’s loaded.” Matt offered me a ride, but we couldn’t find a safe place for a passenger.

There was a live band from the senior class at Loughborough Public, well bundled up, but prepared to play with thin gloves. Ormsbee’s Merchantile had loaded a farm wagon with what must have been all the children in  Sunbury, along with their moms. Sydenham Lions were filling baskets with oranges to be handed out along the route. (The lion costume looked like the cosiest outfit in the whole parade. Perhaps Mayor Vandewal and Councillor Sutherland should dress in animal costumes for warmth next year?) Some very small Frontenac Flyers showed that it was possible to have all your teeth, no mullets and no beards and still play hockey. New Leaf Link had a float, as did Captain Canada: “Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” This year, the customary Township snowplow was festooned with seasonal decorations.

As the last float headed out, the big firehouse doors opened with a dramatic flourish, and out rode Mr & Mrs Santa with their reindeer.

There were crowds of cheering watchers along the route. Some brought their dogs, most of which were sporting bows or fancy coats, but there were none to compare with Brother Brian’s patient Basset hound who used to be included in a nativity float, dressed as an angel or a camel.

This coming Saturday, there will be parades in Denbigh, Harrowsmith, Plevna and Sharbot Lake.

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