Nothing kicks off the holiday season quite like watching the excitement build throughout a Santa Claus parade! We’re so lucky in the Greater Moncton Area to have one of the largest Santa parades in the country, as well as nearly a dozen more fantastic parades nearby to enjoy; there truly is something for everyone and hopefully a parade time and date that fits every family’s schedule!
So many families have wonderful traditions relating to parade day; whether it’s decorating before or after the event, donning silly holiday hats, even renting a room downtown to take in the fun – we’d love to hear you make the parade special for your family in the comments.
Here are a few of our tried & true tips for making Christmas parade outings with little ones more enjoyable for all!
- Bring snacks, including something warm in a thermos. (You might want to bring two; one for the kids with a little less steam to it!)
- Consider bathroom needs; you don’t want to be rushing through the crowds, searching for a place to potty if you have a little one that isn’t used to waiting through events. Find a spot to watch with a public washroom nearby, or check with friends and family if anyone has a workplace along the route that would be welcoming in an emergency.
- Dress warmly. Don’t forget hats, mitts, etc for the adults as well as the kids, as you’ll be standing in one spot for awhile. It’s easy to take off layers if you’re warm!
- For evening parades, consider having the kids wear their PJs under their snowsuits, as it will likely be bedtime by the time you’re heading home.
- Pick up some glow sticks; you can often find Christmas-themed ones at the dollar stores. (You’ll often find folks selling such goodies along parade routes, so it helps to be prepared with your own or with cash!)
- Most parades now have volunteers collecting food for the food bank, as well as postal carriers gathering letters to Santa. Don’t forget to bring yours!
- It’s a long time to wait; consider bringing a camping chair or blanket to sit on – but please be courteous of others and don’t block the sidewalk or park yourself in front of another family.
- If you can have more adults than children, do it! Invite friends and family to join you if necessary. It’s great to have one person save your spot while another takes a walk with little people not used to waiting.
- Please be sure to take home whatever you bring with you; litter left along the route gets you straight on Sanata’s naughty list!
Now, on to the details for parades happening in the Greater Moncton Area in 2018!
Saint John welcomes Santa on Saturday, November 17 with a parade that begins at the Causeway at 6pm.
Amherst also welcomes Santa on Saturday, November 17 at 6pm with their annual parade. There are events on Friday and Sunday, too!
The 51st Royale Greater Moncton Santa Claus Parade takes place on Saturday, November 24, starting at 5pm at the corner of Cameron Street; the parade then makes its way down Moncton’s Main Street and ends at the corner of Paul Street in Dieppe. There will be Family Fun Zones this year in front of Moncton City Hall and in front of CF Champlain. The Moncton zone will have a performance by Scotty and the Stars, starting at 4:45pm. Entertainment will begin at the Dieppe zone around 5:15pm. Don’t forget your letters to Santa and a donation for the food bank, too!
Also on Friday, November 30, Santa will make his way to Bathurst. The parade begins at 6:30pm downtown, with cookies, hot chocolate, Santa Claus, and the community tree lighting.
Enjoy an evening parade on Sunday, December 2 in Cap Pelé! The event beings at 6pm and concludes with a photo opportunity with Santa at the Knights of Columbus hall.
The Village of Petitcodiac and the local fire department presents their annual Santa Claus Festival of Light Parade on Friday, December 7 at 7pm. Santa will visit with children at the fire hall after the parade, with a photo opportunity by donation.
Also on Friday, December 7 Santa and Mrs. Claus are making a trip to Miramichi for the Historic Chatham Business District Parade of Lights. The theme this year is Hometown Christmas!
Saturday, December 8 is the 6th annual Emergency Services Parade of Lights in Sackville. The parade begins at 6pm, with trucks decorated with Christmas lights and a special appearance by Santa Claus!
Here’s a handy list to keep you organized; feel free to share it with your friends! Happy Santa sightings, everyone!