CORNER BROOK — From the people on the street, to the organizers, to the man in the red suit, Saturday evening’s Santa Claus parade was a hit.
For the first time in its 31-year history, the first official one for the Corner Brook Kinsmen Club, the parade started just after the sun went down.
And true to its theme of The Magical Lights of Christmas, the 54 floats entered were all decked out in lights.
“I think this is probably the best parade by far,” said Collette Payne.
Payne said she’s attended a nighttime parade before in another province, but “really, truly enjoyed” this one here at home.
He son Keenan, 4, was also a big fan of the show.
“I like the parade,” he said, the excitement clear in his voice. “I like the trucks.”
Eleven-year-old Brady Vincent said “I loved it,” when asked what he thought of the nighttime parade. “It was colourful.”
His seven-and-a-half-year-old brother Kevin agreed, and said he liked seeing Santa the most.
Kevin nodded yes when asked if he was being good, but when it came to what he wanted for Christmas he thoughtfully said, “I’m not asking for anything. I don’t want to waste his time.”
One person who was as lit up as the floats for the parade was Daniel Rex.
The 10-year-old decorated himself with string of Christmas lights and said the parade “was amazing.”
Kinsmen Club president Steve Churchill also thought the parade was pretty good.
He walked the route handing out candy and said all along the streets “everybody was really happy. Everybody was excited and people were enjoying the lights.”
Churchill said with the success of this year the club is already looking to next year’s parade.
“And as of right now we’re planning a night parade again next year,” said Churchill.
“No doubt,” chimed in parade chair Mike Hoffe, who could only describe the parade as “awesome.”
Hoffe said when the club started planning his goal was to get 30 floats. “But it just kept growing and growing,” he said of the line of floats that extended from the starting point at the Pepsi Centre way back past Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Hoffe said he was thrilled to see that all the floats were well lit up and that the parade attracted quite a lot of watchers as most of the route was crowded with people.
“It was the best crowd of people I’ve seen,” said Santa Claus. “There was no break along the parade route it was always a constant amount of people.”
Corner Brook Regional High, best overall
J.J. Curling Elementary, best school
Westside Tabernacle, best service
Academy Canada, best post-secondary
Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd., best commercial