Fergus Santa Claus Parade returns to traditional format this year

FERGUS – The traditional Fergus Santa Claus Parade is back and will be returning to a downtown route this year.

Parade chairman Jim Dandy said the committee had requested approval from public health to go ahead and was given the green light, with some restrictions.

“We’re ecstatic,” Dandy said of returning the parade to its traditional format.

“We’re just happy beyond words that we can do this. Everybody who works on this is a volunteer and it’s very much a community parade.

Keeping in line with public health recommendations, Dandy said officials are requesting people abide by health and safety protocols, which will include:

  • people on floats are asked to remain masked if they can’t social distance;
  • floats are asked not to give handouts of candy or anything else; and
  • organizers are requesting people respect distance or wear a mask.

The event is set for Dec. 4 and the parade begins its at 1:30pm from the A.O. Smith factory in Fergus. Float assembly begins at 12:30pm.

The event will be organized by the same committee that annually presents the regular parade, which includes members of the Fergus Lions, Centre Wellington Optimists and Fergus Kinsmen.

This year the Rotary Club of Fergus-Elora will also take part in organizing the celebration.

“We’re hoping that people will come back, and we just got the approval yesterday (Oct. 25) so we’re about three months behind in our planning.

“You look at it and many places have cancelled their parade so people are somewhat expecting that we might be cancelling it and normally announcements have been made at this time so everything’s behind the eight ball.”

Dandy said organizers have one entry already but are expecting to see between 45 and 55 entries in the parade.

Flyers will be placed around town with contact information for those looking to enter.

Dandy noted there’s no cost to enter the parade and floats can be entered on the day of, if they choose. There are monetary prizes for not-for-profits and a plaque for businesses.

“We’re very much hoping for a good turnout,” Dandy said. “We had a cruise last year where we drove the town … but we had a very good turnout of people as we went by the homes.”

Dandy noted, although it hasn’t officially been confirmed, organizers are asking people to bring donations for the Centre Wellington Food Bank.

“We so much wanted to do [a traditional parade] last year and weren’t allowed,” he said.

“We found a way to bring Santa to the community and we’re over the moon about (this year’s event).”