The eighth-annual Surrey Santa Parade of Lights rolls through the historic Cloverdale downtown this Sunday (Dec. 8), starting at 5 p.m.
It’s a dazzling parade with floats and vehicles decorated with strings of Christmas lights. It offers plenty of community appeal, from high school bands and service clubs, to sports teams, Guides and Scouts, heavy equipment operators and lots of old-time cars.
Horses, too – Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino traditionally enters a Standardbred and driver or two, in race day regalia.
The event is a fundraiser for the Surrey Food Bank and the Surrey Christmas Bureau and presented by the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce and the Cloverdale BIA, along with sponsors.
Visitors are asked to consider bringing a non-perishable food item or an unwrapped toy.
The main stage at Hawthorne Square (5748 176 St., opening at 4 p.m.) will have music, an indoor open house with craft making for the kids, face painting, exhibitors and a charity barbecue.
The event will close with a ceremonial tree lighting and a visit from Santa at the end of the parade.
As many as 85 to 100 floats and entries representing anywhere from 700 to 800 individuals are taking part.
“The word on the streets is that we have become one of the largest evening parades in the Lower Mainland,” says Paul Orazietti, executive director of the Cloverdale BIA. “We’re second only to the City of Victoria, that I’m aware of.”
Entries are coming from as close as Langley, sending a contingent of old race cars, and as far away as Chilliwack and Vancouver Island, home to the Island Equipment Owners Association, sending 12 trucks to join this year’s convoy of lighted big rigs.
The parade has drawn as many as 15,000 spectators in some years, so you’ll want to get there early to carve out a spot.
“Literally, the sidewalks are jammed full, that’s why we went to an expanded route,” Orazietti said.
The marshaling area is the Cloverdale Fairgrounds at 60 Avenue, and the parade runs east to 177B Street, south to 58 Avenue, and then west to 176 Street, where it heads south to 56A Avenue.
For more information, visit www.cloverdalebia.com.