Kelowna Christmas parade set to tour for a good cause

The Grenfell Road Christmas Parade is taking place this weekend in Kelowna. Courtesy: Candace Banks

Candace Banks will be busy whipping up some Christmas magic this week at a Kelowna, B.C., address that’s most well-known for its spookier offerings.

Grenfell Road was home to a popular Halloween haunted house for a number of years but when the pandemic came around, inviting people in for an up-close fright didn’t work and they pivoted to a more cheerful event — a Christmas parade.

“It was such a hit, we carried on with it,” Banks, who will be decorating their float for the three parades scheduled for later in the week at the old haunt, said.

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This is the third parade where they will be collecting donations for Mamas for Mamas, a local charity that helps mothers.

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“They are so phenomenal,” Banks said.

Donations collected are cash, non-perishable food, household items or winter clothing. Last year in total they reached $4,700 and this year they are hoping for $5,000 to $7,000.

Banks thinks they’re going to be able to reach that easily given the community support already showing itself.

“We’re so overwhelmed this year by the community response,” she said.  ”

“We had great floats over the years … (and) we have somewhere between 16 and 20 joining this year.”

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Kelowna haunted house spooking visitors, raising funds, donations for city’s food bank

As the parade snakes its way through the community, donations will be collected.

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“Everyone is so impressed to see a bunch of cars decorated, they are super kind and awesome and we have walkie-talkies to keep us together,” Banks said.

There are three parade routes set out. The first is Friday at 6:30 p.m., and it starts in Rutland. It goes through Candy Cane Lane and ends up at Ben Lee Park.

Then Saturday, the parade starts at 1:30 p.m. on Grenfell Road and travels through Sunrise village and then onto Bernard Avenue and down to City Park.

Saturday night they start at 6:30 p.m. at the Sandalwood Retirement Resort, go through to Glenmore and end in upper Glenmore.

“It’s busy,” Banks said. But it’s an experience that they’re happy to repeat year after year.

Visit Christmas Grenfell Parade on Facebook to get the routes.

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