Time nears for Santa Claus parade

The Santa Claus Parade in Toronto is the largest of its kind in the country.

The Santa Claus Parade in Toronto is the largest of its kind in the country. And this year, they’re celebrating 110 years of spreading Christmas cheer. We take a sneak peek into what’s cooking in Santa’s workshop.

The holiday spirit was brighter than Rudolph’s nose at Santa’s secret workshop where the final preparations were being made for the 110th Santa Claus Parade.

Santa: “The very first parade was just Santa, walking down from where Union Station is to downtown Toronto and look at it now.”

Santa’s right, it’s grown a lot, 31 floats – the most ever, will travel 6.5 km through downtown Toronto, alongside 23 bands and hundreds of kids

“This is my first time and I’m excited.” “This is my third year being in the Santa Claus Parade and every year has been the best.”

It is the best, as this former Santa soldier knows all too well.

Kids aren’t the only people who get to dress up. The celebrity clowns, all 120 of them, pay $1,200 to lead the parade.

“Just a great way to continue the tradition in Toronto – it’s a small amount that we all contribute to throw into the pool to allow all of this to happen.”

From clowns to a corporate juggernaut, MLSE (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment) is now the parade’s biggest partner. It paid $200-thousand for three of the parade’s biggest floats.

“Usually we use 2 by 4 to support the figure. But because this is so big we had to use metal.”

Talk about dino-‘soar’. The only thing bigger than this 26 foot tall dunking Raptor is the event itself. For the first time ever, the festivities are spanning three days.

Santa: “I come down for the parade and sit on my float and wave to all the kids. But they’re doing things before the parade on the Friday and on Saturday and the parade is on Sunday. I think that’s fantastic.”

One of the events prior to the parade is the Holly Jolly 5k Fun Run being led by Maple Leafs legend Wendel Clark: “To be a part of it and have MLSE be a part of it to make it bigger and stronger and helping more and more within the city with charities that benefit from the parade and just the fun that the parade brings.”

Seeing that the parade will shut down much of downtown Toronto, public transit is recommended. GO Transit is offering expanded train service and special group prices for those heading to the parade.