July 25, 2018 9:56 am

Santa needs a new sleigh: $100,000 fundraiser launched for Winnipeg’s Santa Claus Parade float

Santa Claus on his float during the Winnipeg Santa Claus Parade in 2014.

Global News File
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Some generous elves are helping Santa build a new sleigh after his old one unexpectedly decided it would no longer fly.

Organizers of Winnipeg’s Santa Claus Parade have launched a $100,000 fundraiser to replace Santa’s sleigh float after it was discovered to be broken beyond repair.

The old float was built out of billboards from Eaton’s, but those billboards aren’t holding up, said parade director Monica Derksen.

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She also said the exhaust for the generator that powers the lights is venting a bit too close to Santa’s feet.

The new float will include a hydraulic system to lower it so it can follow the other floats under a bridge, instead of having to make a detour at the end of the parade route like it does now.

“There are some people who wait on the other side of the bridge and they end up disappointed because they don’t get to see Santa,” Derksen said.

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The group was not anticipating having to replace the float this year and said it cannot take the funds from sponsors, which is designated for other costs like permits, said Derksen.

The hope is to build a float that will last for decades and unveil it this year.

The parade was launched in Winnipeg in 1909 and attracts about 60,000 spectators and 3,000 volunteers yearly.

With files from the Canadian Press

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