News Local

The magic of Christmas

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

A bit of light and magic of the holiday season made its way through Pembroke Saturday evening, as the annual Santa Claus Parade of Lights was held.

Hundreds of spectators lined Pembroke Street to watch the spectacle of floats, vehicles and walkers clad in hundreds of electric lights, a procession which started at the Moncion Metro grocery store, and made its way through the city's core before heading down Christie Street to wrap up.

This year’s Santa Claus Parade of Lights had more than 50 entries from around Renfrew County, including businesses, organizations, groups, surrounding municipalities and private entries. This year’s theme was “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” With this theme, parade participants depicted Charlie Brown and the gang, bringing them to life throughout the streets of the city.

Afterwards, parade participants were encouraged to take part in a hotdog reception hosted by the Pembroke Professional Firefighters’ Association, held immediately following the parade. The association volunteers their time each and every year.

Volunteers and firefighters also collected toys and non-perishable food items from spectators lining the parade route for the Salvation Army Food Bank, donations which will be used to help those less fortunate have a happier Christmas.

Jordan Durocher of the city’s recreation department said Pembroke’s Santa Claus Parade of Lights is a community participation event, and he was impressed with how successful it was in bringing out the people.

“The community participation and involvement is quite astonishing,” he said. “The milder weather certainly helped draw the crowds.”

Durocher said the key to the success of this parade has been that level of involvement from the community and surrounding area.

"Without it, this wouldn't come together," he said.

The parade coincides with a number of events as part of a busy weekend serving to kick start the holiday season, which includes the Pembroke Regional Silver Stick tournament, Shop the Neighbourhood in downtown Pembroke, Christkindlmarkt at the Germania Hall and others.

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