Another year is in the books for the Surrey Citizen Santa Parade and it was another resounding success.
The Christmas convoy of about 25 vehicles rolled through Cloverdale Dec. 11, winding their way through many neighbourhoods as the parade followed a longer route than it did last Christmas.
“The parade went great again this year,” said co-organizer Pauline Jackson. “We had Santa with us greeting children and handing out candy canes.”
This year, for the second annual event, organizers included three donation vehicles in the Christmas convoy: one for Fraser Valley flood victims, one for B.C. Children’s Hospital, and one for Loveabull Rescue Society.
Jackson, from Always On Time Pilot Cars, was hoping for non-perishable food items for flood victims, unwrapped toys for B.C. Children’s, and new or used dog items for Loveabull Rescue Society. She said Cloverdalians delivered, as they received a lot of donations.
She said she’s also gotten good feedback from people as well.
“I received an email from a Cloverdale resident saying how she heard the honks and said to her husband, “Something’s going on. Those are happy honks,’” explained Jackson. “She said she got to the window to open up the blinds just to see the start of the parade going by.”
Jackson said the woman told her it brought tears to her eyes as her 18-month-old and her 3.5-year-old watched the parade from their window.
“The parade went very well,” added co-organizer Kate Crew. “We did a longer route this year because it was so incredible last year. We wanted more.”
Crew, from Loveabull Rescue Society, said with the additional cars and increased route length the parade lasted about two hours.
“(That) left some folks waiting longer than expected,” she said. “We apologize for that.”
Crew said the Christmas convoy blasted music and honked horns. This caught some people off guard who were unaware of the parade.
“Once they realized what was happening, you could just see their eyes light up and the smiles we put on their faces.”
Crew said the paraders noticed many people watching from windows, from out on balconies, or from lawn chairs set up along the route.
“Many cars pulled over to see what all the excitement was about.”
Crew said she is very thankful for the amount of support the parade received from the community.
“We felt very welcomed and appreciated by everyone.”
Crew said the drive-around Christmas celebration transcended the normal boundaries of what a parade is to her, noting that it brought Cloverdale together in a celebration of community Christmas spirit that she hadn’t experienced before.
“It is such a joy to do this and to watch the joy on everybody’s face,” added Jackson. “We will be back next year.”