Santa Claus Parade draws 12,000 spectators

 

Santa Parade5 Santa Parade4 Santa Parade3 Santa Parade2 Santa Parade1By Ron Giofu

 

Organizers of Amherstburg Santa Claus Parade are thrilled with how things went although acknowledging crowds were down due to the cold weather.

Dave Grimaldi, director of business development with the Windsor Parade Corporation, said they were happy with last Saturday night’s parade and estimated 12,000 people attended.

“I think everything went extremely well,” said Grimaldi. “The weather could have been a bit warmer but unfortunately, we can’t control that.”

Grimaldi believed the cold kept the crowds down a bit this year, as he said the parade historically draws between 18-20,000 spectators.

While crowds might have been down this year, entrants were up. Grimaldi said there were 59 entries into this year’s parade.

“We were up by almost ten entries this year,” he said. “There was incredible local participation this year.”

Grimaldi believed that was “an excellent sign” for the future.

“We were extremely, extremely pleased by the local support we got for the Amherstburg parade,” he stated. “It’s the largest parade, without a doubt.”

Bands, including those from Michigan, hold the date so they can participate in the Amherstburg Santa Claus Parade.

“The Amherstburg Santa Claus Parade is one where everyone wants to participate,” said Grimaldi. “For the entries, it’s now become international. They now approach us to be in the parade which is what we witnessed on Saturday.”

Executive director Maggie Durocher sends out invitations, he added, but people still want to be part of the parade in this community.

“They just love coming here,” said Grimaldi. “There’s a lot of energy in Amherstburg and the bands and the other entertainers feed off of that.”

Grimaldi also credited Durocher for why the Windsor Parade Corporation has become successful, adding she not only produces local events but is an advisor to parades across the province.

“It’s because of her expertise,” said Grimaldi. “We’re very fortunate to have her.”

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