63rd London Santa Claus Parade to be the last held before Remembrance Day

Organizers say this year's London Santa Claus Parade will be the last one held before Remembrance Day.

With Halloween now in the rearview mirror, London, Ont., is wasting no time gearing up for Christmas.

The 63rd London Santa Claus Parade is set to arrive on Saturday, following the tradition of holding the annual parade on the second Saturday of November.

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Sarai Fonseca is a mother of two who thinks it may be too early for a visit from Old Saint Nick. She worries the parade may overshadow Remembrance Day, which comes just two days later.

“I just think what [veterans] have done for us is amazing, and we shouldn’t forget that or disrespect it at all,” Fonseca said.

Fonseca’s concerns are shared by another parent named Jason Hatch.

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“I understand with a lot of kids out there, you want to make sure that they’re not exposed to the elements and not super cold, but it would be nice if there was a little bit more [recognition] toward Remembrance Day,” said the father of two.
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The London Santa Claus Parade has previously moved its date to accommodate Remembrance Day.

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The most recent date change was in 2017 and brought on an array of scheduling conflicts for executive director Shaun Merton.

Merton confirmed to Global News that 2019’s parade will be the final one held before Remembrance Day, a move he said took three years to co-ordinate.

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“Because there’s only so many Saturdays before Christmas, it’s really hard to book entertainment so we book a lot of our entertainment years in advance,” Merton said.

“We’ve been trying to get it changed, but it’s not something you can do overnight.”

More than 35 entries are slated to take part in Saturday’s parade.

“You’re going to see stilt walkers, you’re going to see the Ghostbuster, you’re going to see the Blues Brothers — a whole bunch of stuff like that,” Merton said.

Other entries include the Western University cheerleading team and characters from the television series Paw Patrol. This year’s theme is A Cartoon Christmas.

The route for the 63rd London Santa Claus Parade.
The route for the 63rd London Santa Claus Parade. London Santa Claus Parade

Saturday’s parade kicks off at 6 p.m. and will see participants travel along Dundas Street from Egerton to Wellington streets.

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At Wellington Street, the parade will turn right before turning left onto Queens Avenue. The parade is scheduled to wrap up at the corner of Queens Avenue and Ridout Street at 7:30 p.m.

Those attending the parade are asked to bring non-perishable food items for the London Food Bank or teddy bears for the Salvation Army toy drive.

If you can’t make it out on Saturday, you can catch a livestream of the parade hosted by Global News’ Jess Brady and Andrew Graham.

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