Monday, December 13

The Best Santa Claus Parade Ever!

Katie had been sick for three weeks. The last day of school that she went to was Friday, November 19. She was well enough to go back to school today, December 13. That's almost a month of feeling miserable and being house bound. More importantly, for a five year old, she was sick during the Santa Claus Parade season.

Bethie got to go to the parade in Carleton Place.

It was fun. It was cold. It was long.

Katie was desperate to go to a parade, but she didn't start feeling better until this weekend...and most of the parades had already happened. Why are there so many parades in November? I was bound and determined that my little girl should see a Santa Claus parade. To my great relief, I found The Second Annual Carp Santa Claus Parade.

I must confess, I was a bit nervous. I don't think I'd ever been to Carp, and the only thing I knew about Carp was that the city dump is located there. Also, it was only the "Second Annual" parade. How good could it be?

The parade began at 1pm. I was ecstatic! All the parades near my home are at night. They don't even begin until the children's bed time. And it's so much colder at night! I do not enjoy the night time parades...

Anyway, we found the perfect parking spot along the parade route. I really should have taken a picture! I backed into the spot, thus ensuring that if it was too cold, we could sit in the car and watch the parade (okay, I wanted to sit in the car, but the children would rather freeze like little Popsicles before they sat in the car! But the option was there...). Since the parade went past a park and lots of open green space, there was room for all the children to run and play while waiting for the parade to come. Normally, we are stuck on a sidewalk with masses of people vying for a spot, and the children become bored and whiny and cold. This time, we let the children run wild, and Dan and I had (gasp!) a conversation! With each other! Without interruption!

If you feel so inclined, you can click here to see some photos of the parade. But I have to share a couple with you:

 The group shot...Sarah hid behind the twinnies!

 Sarah found the sirens from the firetrucks to be "too noisy"! If that's not the pot calling the kettle black than I don't know what is...

Katie, Bethie, and Sarah watching the parade. I love Bethie's face in this photo. She's sooooo excited!

The floats were excellent! Everyone put effort into their floats. They took pride in their work. I have seen some parades where they just stick a bow or a snowman on a car (with advertising, of course!) and call it a float. Every single float in Carp had been given careful thought and each had added value to the parade. There were no floats that we ignored while scanning for something better.

Here are some interesting ones:

I actually ran down the parade route to get a picture of this. First of all, it's funny. It doesn't matter what party you are affiliated with, this is funny. And memorable. And effective. When I got home from the parade, I googled Karen McCrimmon and the person she's running against, and decided who I would vote for if I lived in that riding. Guess who it was?! 

 I really liked this float! It is simple, and pretty, and charming. It was sandwiched between floats being pulled by trucks. It looked tiny. But that contrast made it even more special. What I especially liked about this float (and I could be totally wrong) was that it appeared that this lady wanted to be a part of the parade. She wanted to promote her business, and contribute to her community. She decorated that sweet little wagon, and went out there and did it! She didn't need to ask all her friends to go with her. She didn't care if she was going to be there all by herself. She just went out there and made it happen! I like that!
Yup, that's a giant bomb with an elf guiding it. Merry Christmas...BANG! How could I not love that?!

 Mrs. Claus in her very own sleigh (it's about time!) being pulled by a riding mower. Most floats carrying Mrs. Claus are big and over the top...and it's hard to see Santa and his beloved. This was perfect!

I have to tell you the truth, I saw this and laughed. Only in Carp would there be a garbage truck in the parade! But why not? They fancied it up. And Waste Management employs a lot of people who will have a roof over their heads and food in their baby's belly because of these trucks. I think this should be in every Santa Claus parade that Carp hosts!

But I also saw this scene and got very nervous. Where was Santa???? He wasn't in the garbage truck. I panicked! I grabbed a fireman and made him pose with the twinnies, hoping this would be just as good as Santa.
It was only after I had taken the picture that I realised how good looking he is. HONESTLY!

So, I snapped the picture, looked up, and saw:


Apparently, that wasn't Mrs. Claus' sleigh after all. She was just sick and tired of listening to Santa go on and on about how special he is and how the parade couldn't happen without him blah, blah, blah. So she left. It was very kind of the (hot) firemen to give him a lift. So, if you're ever in Carp, go hug a fireman (wink, wink) because they saved the parade!

I haven't even told you the best bit of the parade. The people! I have never, ever, ever seen such friendly people. Everyone stopped to talk. They didn't just say "Merry Christmas", they took the time to have conversations with us. Even the police officer who was the pace car stopped to chat me and the girls up. It was like they knew us. It made the parade even better.

I will be going to the Third Annual Santa Claus Parade in Carp, that's for sure. You are welcome to come, too, as long as you don't steal my wicked awesome parking spot!!!


Bibliomama said...

What an awesome post. And what an awesome mother. I agree, all the parades being in November pisses me off. The one person I know who comes from Carp is unique and spectacular, so your impressions of Carp must be dead on. And nice with the fireman (we were at the Manotick fire station with Eve's nursery school class and one woman was taking pictures of the firemen and I said you realize the kids aren't up there with them yet right, and she said shut up).

Gwen said...

LOL! I think it's part of the firemen's job description to look good. As well as hauling people out of burning buildings, of course.

You've given me a BRILLIANT idea! I should take the children to a fire station...that way we could do some "family bonding" that would entertain both me AND the children!

Pam said...

I'm up for the fire station field trip ... for the kids of course.
Love the parade post. We have a tradition of NOT making it to a parade 'cause I don't think of it until December. I'm so glad Katie is better.

Sarah said...

I don't have children but would be happy to help supervise yours while learning about our city's upstanding emergency service personnel ahem hint hint

Gwen said...

Pam and Another Sarah, I wasn't kidding about a field trip to the fire station...! I am totally looking into it!