Edmonton once again has an outdoor holiday parade! Santa’s Parade of Lights took place tonight, featuring roughly twenty festively lit entries. An impressive number of Edmontonians packed the sidewalks to watch it all go by. No doubt the great weather helped!
I didn’t realize that only half the street would be closed for the parade. That meant if you were on the west side of 101 Street like we were, there were lots of vehicles passing by obscuring the view. Hopefully next year they can close the entire street!
There were a lot of City of Edmonton entries this year but I’ve heard there are a bunch of organizations that have already signed up for next year. Sharon really liked the CN Rail float. I thought it was smart for Canada Post to have an entry (kids could bring their letter to Santa and Canada Post would collect them for delivery to Santa).
In future years I’d expect more winter festivals to use the parade as an opportunity to promote their events, like The Flying Canoe Adventure did.
The kids were all pretty excited when Elsa and Olaf went by, but of course the main attraction was Santa himself! Everyone had the opportunity to meet Santa at the end of the parade in Churchill Square.
There were food trucks, warming bonfires, and family-friendly activities. It was great to see so many people in the square!
Overall it was a solid first year for Santa’s Parade of Lights. I think they have a great foundation to build upon in the years ahead!
After the parade was over, Sharon and I took the bus over to 124 Street for All is Bright. We started up at Barking Buffalo Coffee and walked back toward High Street. It would have been nice to have more businesses participating along the way, but we did run into a pack of Krampus figures!
Closer to High Street there were lots of activities for families to enjoy, including sleigh rides, street hockey, smores around the fire, and a dance party. The short official program took place at 6:30pm, with Mayor Iveson, Councillor McKeen, Councillor Henderson, and MLA Sarah Hoffman all bringing greetings.
Finally the countdown began and the lights came on! This year there was also a short fireworks show to accompany the light up.
WinterCity had a tent at High Street where Edmontonians could learn more about all of the upcoming activities throughout the winter season. They just released the Winter Excitement Guide this week.
There was lots to see and do throughout the evening, like these impressive fire performers. Inside Prettiest Present, kids could get their picture taken with Santa!
Sharon and I look forward to All is Bright every year and even without any snow we still had a great time taking in the lights and energy of the 124 Street area. Great job to all involved!
For more exciting holiday & winter events, be sure to check out my guide!