The 2022 Surrey Santa Parade of Lights is right around the corner.
The popular event is back after being cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-related issues.
Organizer Paul Orazietti said he’s still putting the finishing touches on the finer points of the event’s organization.
“Right now, we’re just working out logistics for moving big trucks, which has become more complicated,” he explained. “There can be a potential increase in cost to us if they’re going over the curb.”
Orazietti, the executive director of the Cloverdale BIA, announced earlier this month the parade would roll Dec. 4.
He noted the response from those wanting to participate in the parade has been overwhelming.
“For a shortened route, we’re close to max,” he said. “In terms of the amount of parade feet, length of all floats, that we can run.”
He said there may be room for a couple of late entries, but he won’t know just how many until he crunches the numbers.
“We’ve also had a huge influx of sports teams that want to take part in the parade,” added Orazietti. “There’s been threats of about eight entries from soccer teams, about four from baseball teams, and one softball team—so a lot from sports.”
Orazietti said he’s still signing up sponsors and more are needed.
“The unfortunate problem is that we don’t have a cost for the event yet,” he said. “I don’t know what the full cost will be, but I know it’s going to be a bit of stiff bill.”
He said he has yet to work out costs with the city. There are costs like police security, road closure setup and takedown and other hidden costs that have to be factored in.
There is also a charity aspect to Surrey Santa Parade of Lights. Orazietti said they’ll have donation bins set up in Hawthorne square, at the Museum of Surrey, and in other locations yet to be determined. He’s encouraging people to bring down non-perishable food items and/or toys.
He said they’re supporting three charities this year: The Cloverdale Christmas Hamper Program, the food bank, and the Surrey Christmas Bureau.
As for the shorter parade route, Orazietti said the casino asked the BIA not to block the intersection at 177B Street (the casino’s main entrance) and that, coupled with the lack of a larger marshalling area, are the “main reasons,” the parade route was shortened.
The parade will come out of the Fairgrounds’ marshalling area next to the curling rink, pass Shannon Hall and the B.C. Vintage Truck Museum and parade straight down 176A Street to 57th Avenue. The floats will turn west on 57th for one block and pivot north up 176th Street. They’ll then take a west turn at 58th Avenue before ending at Hwy 15.
The Surrey Santa Parade of Lights will begin at 5 p.m. Dec. 4 on the Fairgrounds and wend its way through downtown Cloverdale. Parade-goers are encouraged to bring down a toy or a non-perishable food item to be donated to charity.