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61st Santa Claus Parade Preview (+ Photo Captions)

Posted by Luc / November 14, 2011

20111114_mmpix_santaparade1945.jpgThis Saturday will mark the 61st annual Santa Claus Parade in Montréal, a.k.a. Le Défilé du Père Noel. Since a Santa Claus parade only provides so much material for blogging purposes, this article will include two things: 1) the details necessary for you to attend/watch the parade, and 2) photos from the 2008 parade accompanied by my personal commentary.

The parade runs down Rue St. Catherine, starting at Rue du Fort and ending at Rue St. Urbain. It starts at 11:00am, heading East across St Cat. Here is a map, in case my directions are too confusing.

It will air on TVA and Yoopa the next day, November 20, at 5:00pm, and once again on December 10.

Personally, I've never understood why Santa Claus parades are so early prior to the Holidays...I would totally go on Christmas eve, but November 19 is just incredibly early. For Pete's sake, I'm not even wearing a jacket out today!

UPDATE: Word has it that Santa Claus and his elves will be using LaSalle College at 2000 St. Catherine West to prepare for the parade, and that the College is also opening it's doors to the public to use its second-floor cafeteria as an indoor viewing area.

Other fun facts you may not know:

  • From 1925 until the late 1960s, the floats used in the Montreal parade were the same ones used in the Toronto parade, which took place a week prior in November. The double-city parade ended after the FLQ bombings.

  • Destination Centre Ville Montréal has put together this guide for the upcoming Holidays, detailing all major events, shopping destinations, and open churches (?) in the General Montreal area. Ah, good old Casse-Noisette.

  • There is a hip-hop rock band that performed last year on one of the floats, and they are called Les FloWKonz. No, I'm serious. Check it out.
  • Now for some photos + captions!
    Note: All photos courtesy of Evelyn Reid on About.com
    Note part 2: The captions are just quotes from The Shawshank Redemption.
    Header photo of the Santa Clause Parade in 1945, courtesy of the Ontario Government archives (for some reason).



    Amie / November 15, 2011 at 04:43 am
    Huh. "The things we never knew we never knew..." - Not the Shawshank Redemption. From, sadly, a much lesser movie.
    Michael Black / November 15, 2011 at 02:52 pm
    Our role isn't to repeat back what someone else said, but to initiate new material, and at the very least challenge what old media or organizations have said.<br><br>It's not right to call this the 61st parade, especially not because the organizers are calling it that. The Montreal Santa Claus Parade, as sponsored by Eaton's, ran until the late sixties, I can't remember what year, but the usual worry about terrorism stopped it. So instead of going downtown to watch it, we had to watch the Toronto parade on tv, complete with Uncle Bobby as the host.<br><br>Then there was a gap of 15 to 20 years, again I can't remember when a new parade came along to take on the role. But it was a different group organizing it, it had nothing to do with the parade that had previously run, and was disconnected from the previous parade by those 15 to 20 years. It's a new parade, no more than a quarter century old (and I"m sure it's closer to 20).<br><br>Since the organizers mask themselves with the old parade, we don't get the real number of years that this one has been running. Instead of fluffing themselves up with the length of the old parade they should be making a deal of how long they've been holding a parade.<br><br>And how can November 19th be "too early?" Five days later, it's US Thanksgiving, which is suddenly not too early. That's when the Christmas specials start up on TV, that's when the Christmas season begins, as documented in that classic documentary, "Miracle on 34th Street" that begins with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. November 19th is five weeks to Christmas, going in it may look early, but not that much later it will all seem rushed.<br><br> Michael<br>
    Luc Doucet / November 15, 2011 at 04:58 pm
    @Amie I don't get it<br><br>@Michael If you have an exact number of years the parade has been running in Montreal, with evidence to the years it was skipped, we will gladly take it and modify the post. Personally I'm not much for milestones, so whether it's the 1st or 101st parade, I'm still going to go out and enjoy the fun. <br><br>Although the rest of the Holiday season begins around American Thanksgiving (and the parade usually serves as the kickoff to that season), I still find it extremely early for a parade. I find parades fit best at the end, not the beginning, so a Santa Claus parade the week prior to Christmas would be much more fitting just as everyone is getting into the spirit. <br><br>Your reference to 'Miracle on 34th street' does prove a good point, but that parade is for Thanksgiving, not Christmas. I also want to point that in the movie 'Jingle All The Way', the Santa Claus Parade is on Christmas Eve, and Arnold Schwarzenegger must find a way to get his son a Turboman doll before time runs out.
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