CONSTANCE BAY – The talk of the town was Saturday’s Santa Claus Parade was one of the best the community has seen in years.
Santa Day in the Bay as it is officially known kicked off a weekend of Christmas activity in the riverside community. Saturday, Dec. 7 started with the Santa Claus Parade and the Constance Bay Community Market (CBCM) Christmas Market kicking off simultaneously at 10 a.m.
The parade starts at the Bay’s general store, continues down a huge chunk of Bayview Drive before turning up Len Purcell Drive and ending at the NorthWind Wireless Fibre Centre where the Christmas Market is hosted and where Santa would meet and greet and take note of wish lists for any children so inclined to submit.
The weather was chilly, there was snow on the ground and the community had definitely caught Christmas fever. Twenty-six floats and organizations were involved in the parade making it one of the larger in years and from reports, the crowd along the route was also larger than recent history recalls.
West Carleton Online was positioned at Bayview Drive near The Point Restaurant and counted an estimate of more than100 people at the intersection enjoying the parade. The Point delivered hot chocolate to those in the parade as they passed by.
“I’m so happy,” lead parade organizer and Constance Bay resident Ruth McClusky told West Carleton Online back at the NorthWind Centre after the more-than hour-long parade, had ended. “It was awesome. The weather, the turnout. We made a point to invite our neighbouring communities.”
It was the first time McClusky has organized the parade, but the owner of La Vida Local wine tours has lots of experience in event planning.
“You’re juggling a lot of balls, but it all comes together,” she said. “With the extra help of the Constance Bay firefighters. Who’s going to say no? It’s fun to see so many people. Honestly it’s nice to see so many happy people in Constance Bay.”
Part of the parade includes the judging of floats. This year Jan Fraser, Penny Singleton and Sandy Zhang were tasked with picking the best ones. McClusky also gathered input from the crowd gathered at the community centre.
First place went to Tree Pose Yoga and Wellness, second place went to Deka Home Hardware and third place went to NorthWind Wireless.
“The winning floats were very, very close, scoring within two per cent of each other,” McClusky said. “We also award honorable mentions to all of the entries. They were fantastic and we know a lot of hard work was done to make the parade a success.”
Following the parade, hundreds visited the Christmas Market which had taken over almost every free space in the community centre.
Santa’s day was more of a weekend in Constance Bay as on Sunday, Dec. 8 the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 616 hosted their annual Kids’ Christmas Party.
West Carleton Online got there early due to other commitments later in the day, but did help with the peeling of oranges. More than 15 kids were already present at the time West Carleton Online had to leave, taking part in Christmas crafts, eating snacks and playing before the guest of honour came by to cast judgement on who was naughty and who was nice at the Legion.
Our bet is all the kids present managed to sneak on to the Nice List. We can’t verify that for the adults present (scroll down for more photos from Santa Day in the Bay).