Christmas Parades in the Waterloo Region
Greetings, dear readers, and welcome to the WRX Property Group website and blog! Today, we will be embarking on an important fact-finding mission, and we’ll be sharing what we find with you. What sorts of facts will we be looking for, you ask?
Well, as the article’s name implies, we’ll be looking at Christmas Parades in the Waterloo Region!
Let’s kick things off with what may be the tiniest, and arguably most ‘precious’ of all the Waterloo Region Christmas Parades. Belmont Village is a trendy, historic, tight-knit community, located just south of the Kitchener/Waterloo border, northwest of Downtown Kitchener.
They have great events throughout the year, and we’ll discuss their Christmas festivities further in another article. For now, there are two words you need to know: Pet Parade.
That’s right, come Christmastime, dogs and cats wearing season-appropriate outfits parade through Belmont Village. The bar has been set fairly high – let’s see if any of the parades can beat it?
For the sake of organizational clarity, we’ll start with the outer portions of the Waterloo Region and wind our way clockwise through the Townships, then to Cambridge, then up to Kitchener, and wrap things up with Waterloo.
Whenever Christmas is in the air, you can be sure that it is in Ayr, too. That’s right: each year, Ayr (the largest community in North Dumfries) hosts the Ayr Santa Claus Parade along Northumberland Street.
It’s organized by the Ayr-North Dumfries Lions Club – Lions Clubs will be popping up quite a bit on this list – and it’s great fun for families from North Dumfries and beyond.
Next up: Wilmot! There are actually a few Christmas Parades in the Township of Wilmot (with 20,000 inhabitants, it is twice as large as North Dumfries, after all). First up is the Baden Santa Claus Parade, organized by the Baden Optimist Club, which runs along Snyder’s Road East.
And then, of course, there is the New Hamburg Santa Claus Parade, which typically concludes with Santa meeting families at the New Hamburg Community Centre. St. Agatha typically hosts its own parade, too.
The largest community in the Township of Wellesley is: Wellesley! And Wellesley does indeed host its very own Christmas Parade.
It’s even got a special name: Christmas Tyme in Wellesley. The parade starts at Wellesley Public School, and winds its way to the Wellesley Community Centre. A splendid Tyme is guaranteed for all! A smaller parade will also take place in St. Clements.
The last of the Townships on our clockwise route is the Township of Woolwich – the largest of all. And the local parade for Woolwich takes place in the Township’s largest community, Elmira.
Organized by the Elmira Kiwanis Club, the Elmira Santa Claus Parade runs up Arthur Street in elegant downtown Elmira. Find times here.
The Township’s parades are lovely, one and all, and a great way for the communities to come out and celebrate together. They’re also a great time for visitors to explore the smaller parts of the Waterloo Region.
And finally, they present an opportunity to gather donations, including non-perishable food products and toys, like the New Hamburg firefighters in that parade.
Now, let’s move on to the cities of the Waterloo Region, which will be hosting the largest parades.
There are two major parades to be aware of in the fine city of Cambridge. The first one, suitably named the Cambridge Santa Claus Parade, runs along Hespeler Road, traveling north from Dunbar Road up to Langs Drive.
You can see the route for yourself here. The Cambridge Santa Claus Parade is unique in that it’s one of the few Christmas Parades in all of Ontario that runs in the night time. Typically starting at 6:00pm, the parade is able to make use of lights to a degree not possible in the daylight; it’s really quite pretty.
The other Cambridge Parade takes place further east, in what was formerly called Hespeler (before the amalgamation). The Hespeler Santa Claus Parade has been running since 1979, and over the years it’s not only grown in size, but it’s also developed its own distinct identity.
One key feature to the Hespeler Santa Claus Parade is its multiple contests, including annual colouring contests for several age groups. Check out the website for more info here.
Are they Kitchener and Waterloo, or is it Kitchener-Waterloo? Well, a bit of both… Kitchener and Waterloo are their own distinct, individual cities, with their own, separate municipal governments.
But the two cities are very much intertwined, both geographically and historically: there are few better examples of ‘twin cities.’
And so it is quite appropriate, particularly in this season of kindness, kinship and camaraderie, that Kitchener and Waterloo share their Santa Claus Parade.
The Lions Club of Kitchener has run the Kitchener-Waterloo Santa Claus Parade since 2004, and they have continued using the same route that the parade has followed for over half a century now.
Involved in the extensive, hour and a half parade are around 100 floats, over a dozen marching bands, and a wide assortment of volunteers from local schools, businesses, clubs, and organizations.
It’s not uncommon for one of Kitchener-Waterloo’s citizens of the year to participate in the parade, nor a recently-crowned Miss Oktoberfest.
The Kitchener-Waterloo Santa Claus Parade starts at the intersection of Weber Street and Erb Street East in Waterloo, then makes its way south down Weber.
As Kitchener-Waterloo residents are well-aware, Weber Street is a rather winding, curving sort of street, so even though the parade never makes any sharp turns, it does not follow a straight line – but that’s all part of the fun.
Oh, and as the name suggests, Santa Claus will be in attendance. It’s a fairly long route, so there are plenty of great places to stand or set up a seat, but even if you’re not able to make it in person, you can tune in on Rogers TV, who broadcasts the event from Kitchener City Hall.
Find out more about the KW Santa Claus Parade here.
Well, there you have it! With over half a million inhabitants, spread out over 1370 square kilometers, the Waterloo Region is a large place indeed. As such, there are quite a few options when it comes to Christmas Parades here.
Written by Will Kummer