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69 years of Christmas cheer — Montreal hosts its annual Santa Claus parade

Click to play video 'Santa Claus comes to town' Santa Claus comes to town
WATCH: The annual Santa Claus Parade took place in Montreal on Saturday with festive spectators gathering downtown to welcome the joyful procession. – Nov 23, 2019

Montreal children, parents and Christmas fanatics gathered on Saturday to watch and celebrate the city’s 69th edition of the Santa Claus parade.

Old and young got the chance to see over 17 festive floats, numerous marching bands, mascots and more were there to spark holiday spirit.

“Everything about the parade is great,” said longtime parade-goer Joseph Santeusanio. “Everybody loves the atmosphere, it’s unbelievable. I really, really enjoy it.”

The holiday cheer was spread far and wide as Montrealers hugged alongside René-Lévesque Boulevard for the first time as St-Catherine Street undergoes construction.

The parade ran from Guy Street to St-Urbain, extending approximately 2 kilometres.

READ MORE: Santa Claus will be in town for Montreal’s 69th annual parade come Nov. 23

For the first time, the parade made eco-friendly efforts by featuring three electric cars to pull some of the festive floats.

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Thousands of people huddled together, waiting for the white-bearded man from the North Pole to arrive, followed by the Christmas fairy.

“The kids are really happy to look, and look at the crowd we have — it’s fantastic,” said Santeusanio.

For newly immigrated Clarence D’Sousa and his children, their first Santa Claus parade was a magical success.

“It’s our first time in Montreal, and it’s amazing — really amazing,” said D’Sousa. “It’s going to be our first Christmas here, we moved two months ago and we love it.”

For others, the parade has been a tradition extending generations.

READ MORE: Hallmark Countdown to Christmas: New holiday movies for 2019

“Every year I used to take my boys to the parade and now they’re grown up,” said Santeusanio. “Now I’m taking their kids here — my grandchildren.”

Parade-goers were also glad the weather held up this year as they got to enjoy the yearly tradition.

“The weather’s nice, the atmosphere is nice and they changed the parade quite a bit, so it’s fabulous,” said Santeusanio.

The 2019 Montreal Santa Claus parade attracted around 300,000 people.

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— With files from the Canadian Press