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Petawawa hosts Santa Claus Parade

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

PETAWAWA – It certainly looked a lot like Christmas in Petawawa on Sunday.


A fresh coating of snow covered all, the breeze was brisk and chilly, and people of all ages bundled up and lined the route of the 32nd annual Petawawa Lions Club Santa Claus Parade.

The event, a long held tradition, included collecting goods from spectators for the local food bank and spreading good cheer all along the streets of Petawawa.

Led by the Petawawa Legion Community Band, which rested atop a flatbed trailer as it was towed through town, the collection of more than 30 floats slid past the crowds as made its way from Mohns Avenue through Doran Road and Herman Street to end up at the Petawawa Civic Centre.

Dancers, mascots and horses helped add to the character of the event.

The real star of the show was of course Santa Claus himself, making his first appearance in a parade in the Upper Ottawa Valley. Equipped with a microphone, he addressed the crowd and individuals within it, welcoming all to the start of the Christmas season.

Shelley Gauthier, secretary of the Pembroke Petawawa Lions Club and Lions District Governor, said she was amazed by the number of people who braved the cold to come out and support the parade, one of the biggest ever in recent years.

She said special congratulations should go out to Lion Club member Gerry Haley, who took up the mantle of parade chairman and worked hard with his committee to ensure the success of this year's event.

The parade winners, as selected by a panel of judges, were as follows:

The Most Traditional Float went to Canyon Creek Farm for their classic pickup truck.

Best Parade Theme for a Canadian Christmas was the entry from Laurentian Valley Township.

Best Overall Float was from Jay's Autobody.

Winning the Most Original Float was the Transportation Company of 2 Service Battalion. The float is part of the company’s annual Trucker’s Toy Drive campaign, which is again underway.

The unit plans to appear at several other parades throughout the area collecting toys and financial donations for those families who may need a little help this festive season. It also serves as a reminder that there will be many service men and woman who will not be with their families this Christmas. 

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