Lansdowne’s annual Santa Claus parade rings in the holiday season

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Rockport Cruises took Best Local float in this yearÕs Santa Claus Parade held in Lansdowne on November 20. Supplied by Rockport CruisesRockport Cruises took Best Local float in this yearÕs Santa Claus Parade held in Lansdowne on November 20. Supplied by Rockport Cruises Photo by supplied by Rockport Cruises /supplied by Rockport Cruises

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Santa Claus came to Lansdowne for their annual parade on November 20. Crowds filled the streets as floats and marchers paraded through the village, and holiday anticipation filled the air.

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“We had seven floats, as well as our local Fire Department and the OPP Auxiliary participating, all guiding Santa through the streets of Lansdowne,” said Samantha Birtch, organizer and member of the Lansdowne Agricultural Society (LAS). “We had ponies and goats marching, and everyone was having a great time.”

Although smaller than in years past, this was a great way to start putting the pandemic behind us. While not gone, it is fading, and people want to get out and enjoy themselves.

“There had to have been at least 200 or more people that returned to the Community Hall,” said Birtch. “Kids ranged in age from infants to 10 years old. We offered free photos with Santa, and there were approximately 60 photos taken. Donations were accepted, and proceeds go back into the 2023 Christmas Parade.”

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This year’s theme was “Lansdowne Welcomes Santa Back” with free registration from 12:30 to 1:30 pm at the Seniors’ Room at the Lansdowne Community Building. Everyone wanted to get out and look their best for the judges – Lisa Cyr Auld (Remax Hallmark), Lori Proctor (LAS Director), and Parnie Nolan (Fun Art Paint Parties).

“Activities after the parade were held at the Community Hall – a table for letter writing to Santa, coloring table, pictures with Santa by Joviss Visuals, and the Ice Queen made her first appearance with us. Everyone loved seeing her. She mingled with the crowd, visited with all of the children and had pictures taken with them as well.

“Of course, we also had our bake sale which is always extremely successful and sold out.”

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As each child visited Santa, he/she received a special goodie bag provided by LAS.

“Santa had a lot of excited children and parents/grandparents who were excited to have their pictures taken and just talk with him after two long years,” she said. “As always there are children who are not too sure about our beloved Santa but most of them warmed up pretty quickly.”

The event was sponsored by McNeely Oil Burner Services (who provided hot dogs and hot chocolate), Green Valley Heating (Charlie & Jen Birtch), Lisa Cyr Auld (Remax Hallmark), and the Rockport Boatline which held a draw for free tickets for four on a Boat Cruise. John Serviss of Joviss Visuals volunteered his time and services to take pictures of all the children and their families with Santa.

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New this year was a table to collect for the Gananoque and Area Food Bank. It is planned to make this an annual part of the event.

This year’s parade winners and their categories were the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands (Best Theme), Rockport Cruises (Best Local), Slate’s Marine Construction (Best Out of Town), Sandra Randall (Best Horses), Thousand Islands Elementary School ( Best Kids), and P38 Energy (Most Humourous). Congratulations to all who won and who participated in making this once again Lansdowne’s most popular event of the season.

“We have already started working on next year’s parade,” said Birtch. “The theme will be ‘Redneck Christmas’ and we can’t wait to see you there.”

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