Santa Claus Parade comes to Winnipeg –

Santa Claus Parade comes to Winnipeg -
Toronto Santa Claus Parade changes route, numerous road closures to be put in place
Tens of thousands Winnipeggers lined up under the stars along Portage Avenue on a misty Saturday evening to see Kris Kringle come to town in the annual Santa Claus Parade.

Holiday tunes and cheer paired with the swishing of snowpants and scraping of snowboots on the pavement as the crowd gathered along the parade route. The yearly tradition shuts down most of the roads in the city's centre and marks the beginning of the festive season.

The city is reminding parade goers to expect delays, plan ahead, and allow for additional travel time to get to and from their destinations. READ MORE: Hes coming to town: Santa Claus Parade to take over Winnipeg streets this weekend

Parade participants spent weeks preparing the dozens of floats decked out with bright lights, eclectic characters and corporate and public branding.

-Hargrave Street, Colony Street, Vaughan Street, Kennedy Street, Edmonton Street, Garry Street, Fort Street, Carlton Street, Donald Street, and Smith Street will be closed at Portage Avenue;

Five-year-old Callie Hedlin had one of the highest vantage points from atop her father's shoulders. Andrew Hedlin, who stands six feet eight inches tall, and his immediate family was joined by grandma, grandpa and the cousins at the event.

CTV News Winnipeg will be live streaming the event on its website as soon as the parade gets underway at 5 p.m., and it will play on television at 6:10 p.m.

Lorlene Perrick brought her two daughters and two step-sons, who were all bundled up in winter coats, mittens and Winnipeg Jets gear. "They're pretty excited," Perrick said, moments before the paraders took off.

Winnipeg Transit will also be re-routing buses operating near the parade route. The re-routes will be in effect from approximately 2:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

"You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch," blasted from a float carrying a green brute in a red suit who was caged up as part of the Crimestopper's float.

WINNIPEG — Santa Claus is coming to Winnipeg on Saturday, and to make way for his entrance, there will be several streets closed in the downtown area.

Diehard Winnipeg Blue Bombers fan Monica Cook roared as the team's float passed by. "Let's bring it home this year!" she exclaimed.

Winnipeg police say a man was found dead in a residence on Dufferin Avenue. His death brings the number of homicides in the city to 41.

Cook has the team's logo permanently branded on her body in the form of a tattoo of the football going through the W.  "Why follow them and not be optimistic about it?" she asked. The Bombers take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday in the CFL's Western Final in Regina.

Kathleen Vitt took Felix, who is nearly three months old, to his first Santa Claus parade. The two were joined by other family members.

The 1969 parade route was a little different, he remembered. They started by the fire station at Clarence and Cumberland Streets – “it’s long gone,” said Casagrande. “Everything I’m going to talk about is long gone. Except me, I’m still here.” Then they marched to Rideau Street, through the Sparks Street Mall, and down Bank Street to Lansdowne Park.

"We're more here for the two year olds who can kind of take it in, but we're enjoying our time, too," Vitt said.

“It’s quite the generational experience, especially within the firefighting community,” said union president John Sobey. “We have retired members that are still participating, and we have members that are graduating from recruit school that are out here. Several generations of firefighters and their families who are still participating in this historic event.”

Curtis Sankar perched in front of the bus stop in front of the Bay with all of his nieces and nephews.

"It was really, really fun," Daniel, one of the children who was with Sankar, said. The kids were thrilled to see their cousins and sister marching with the Clifton School patrols.

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The time-honoured tradition brought thousands of Ottawans together to shiver and cheer along downtown streets. Floats blasting Christmas tunes rolled along the parade route from city hall to TD Place at Lansdowne Park, while uniformed first responders collected toy and cash donations – generosity rewarded with a smile and candy canes.

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As the end of the parade approached, kids stood on tiptoes to catch a glimpse of Santa and his reindeer. In perfectly Ottawa fashion, he called out a bilingual season’s greeting: “Merry Christmas, tout le monde.”

Thousands of people are expected to descend on downtown Toronto Sunday for the 115th annual Santa Claus parade.

This year’s parade is set to follow a different route, with a starting point at Parliament Street as opposed to Christie Pits.

But at a fundamental level, the scene was much the same as it was 50 years ago. Multiple generations bundled up to spend a day sharing in the holiday spirit, continuing traditions or starting new ones.

Numerous road closures are set to be in place in the city’s downtown core for the parade, which is set to get underway at 12:30 p.m.

“We loved playing. We’d stop along the way and play a Christmas tune,” said Casagrande, who was then just a beginner drummer in the fire services band. His favourite song to play?

Some restrictions will start taking effect throughout the morning, with full closures coming into place in the late morning hours.

Closures will include Bloor Street between Parliament and St. George streets, as well as Avenue Road and Queens Park from Davenport Road to College Street.

University Avenue will also be closed from College Street to Front Street and Wellington Street will be closed from University Avenue to Jarvis Street.

Environment Canada says spectators can expect mainly sunny skies Sunday with a high temperature of 1 C.