Children of the community will be vibrating with excitement when the triumphant parade celebrating the Christmas season and the legendary Santa Claus travels through part of the downtown area late Saturday afternoon.

The largest Cochrane Santa Claus Parade ever kicks off at 5 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 9 when 18 entries will stream through part of Cochrane's downtown core. Organizers, though, need more volunteers to help make it a memorable event.

"We can use several more volunteers; the more the merrier," says parade chair Mick Gee. "It's only a three-hour commitment and we're looking for people to help with barricades, marshaling to make the place safe and help with the form up area."

By Tuesday, they had 15 volunteers on board and are seeking another 25. Those wanting to lend a hand can visit here to fill out a volunteer form or email [email protected].

Volunteers are the backbone of any community event, says Gee, and some have joined with them to show appreciation for their assistance.

Cochrane Economic Development and Don't Panic Mechanic are both contributing gifts to thank the parade volunteers. The town has donated some special Santa Claus parade mugs and Don't Panic Mechanic is providing $50 gift certificates.

"That really demonstrates the community spirit behind this event," says Gee. "Showing volunteers appreciation is important because it wouldn't happen without them." 

The parade

The parade launches from the corner of 5th Ave. and Railway St. and travels to Centre Ave. where it goes south to Quarry Street then travels Grande Ave. north and reconnects to Railway St and ends where it started.

Official judging takes place prior to the parade's start and it's expected to once again be a hotly-contest prize. The parade committee has also established a new "People's Choice" award where people can vote for their favourite floats by going to the parade's website or Facebook page. People will have a chance to register their vote until Sunday morning.

The weather forecast is calling for a balmy day by December standards and large crowds are expected. Beforehand, though, Gee says there's much to enjoy in town.

"Come early, there are lots to do in Cochrane that day. There are markets, there's photo with Santa, great restaurants and shops... lots of good things. Come early, get your parking places and enjoy the day. It's a big route and there are many great viewing places; come and have a good time and create the childhood memories that last a lifetime."

Community Visits start Monday

On Monday, Santa and his magical elves will begin their community visits. They kick it off in the Fireside, a community that will continue its tradition of holding a celebration. Several others will be doing the same. Lions Rodeo Royalty will be joining Santa on his tour Friday and some members of town council will also be joining him throughout the week.


Gearing Up for Santa Claus Parade, Community Visits

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