It's going to be a holly, jolly parade

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It's beginning to look at lot like the Tillsonburg Kiwanis Santa's Parade will be bigger than ever.

The downtown Tillsonburg parade on Saturday, Nov. 21, begins at 2 p.m.

"They form up behind Avondale United Church," said Tillsonburg Kiwanis Club's Ron Bates, noting the participants will be in the parking lot behind the church for 1 p.m.

"This will be 55-years-plus that the Kiwanis Club has been doing it," noted Bates. "And it's changed a lot over the years."

Overall it's bigger, he said, with a lot more groups participating.

"The floats have certainly got bigger and better. And it seems this year I've had a number calls or emails with new or newer entries... I don't know exactly how many, but probably about 10-12 have contacted me.

"All we have to hope for now is decent weather. We've been very fortunate over the years as far as weather is concerned.

Bates estimates the parade will be 45-60 minutes long.

"The Glendale Kiwanis Key Club is doing a drive for shoes... for the Soles for Souls campaign. So they will be picking up new or gently used shoes on the parade route.

"And the firemen will be doing their food drive for the food bank."

There is no registration fee to enter a float in the parade, however each entry must be decorated in the Christmas spirit.

"We don't have a specific theme, but certainly we like to see all the floats decorated."

This year's route takes the parade up Broadway to the Tillsonburg Community Centre where participants (only) will enjoy refreshments – hot chocolate and donuts.

"The Tillsonburg Legion Colour Party will head it off, as usual."

One important reminder, said Bates, for people in the parade is to 'hand out' their goodies and pamphlets.

"Literally handed out, not thrown. The kids start running out... and anything can happen."

This year's annual Santa Parade is sponsored by Tillsonburg Kiwanis Club, Tillsonburg BIA, Knights of Columbus, and Town of Tillsonburg.

"It starts the Christmas season off for the retailers and shoppers," said Bates.



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