Santa will be extra busy this Christmas Eve (December 24) thanks to the volunteer efforts of Cochrane Fire Services.
This marks the fifth year for the annual 'Firefighter Christmas Eve Santa Claus Run' and the firefighters are looking forward to some new elements including changes to the route, shares Senior Firefighter, Dave Levisky. "We tried to make more stops at community parks and schools, so we can stop for roughly five minutes for the kids to get a good look at Santa and receive a candy cane."
Santa Claus won't be alone though, adds Levisky, who shares he will be accompanied by Fire Chief David Humphrey, Mayor Jeff Genung, and members of Fire Services. On top of that, the community can once again look forward to numerous flashing lights. "We are also excited to announce that other community first responders will also be joining us this year and, if all confirmed, we should have five trucks along the route."
Thanks to a request from Cochrane Councillor Alex Reed, Levisky, says residents will also see an additional fire department pick up truck trailing behind Santa. "This year we will be bringing a second fire truck and have added an opportunity for people to donate non-perishable food items to the Cochrane Food Bank. We thought it was a wonderful idea and a great way to show kids that it's important to give to the community at this time of year when the need is greatest."
The last new element Fire Services is adding is a friendly challenge. While seeing flashing lights and Santa up close and personal is already pretty special, Fire Services is looking to award one neighbourhood the 'Best Community Holiday Spirit Award' for welcoming them with the largest crowd, most Christmas lights, and greatest donation of non-perishable food items. "We are putting out a friendly challenge to our local communities to demonstrate their community spirit. If awarded, we will make arrangements with that Community Association to come back to that community to have their very own pickup hockey game with the firefighters in the New Year."
If you are hoping for a shut out victory over Cochrane Fire, you may want to encourage your community to up their 'A' game, says Levisky. "Over the last few years based on a straw poll, the largest crowds have been in River Heights, Riviera, and Heartland, best community spirit was felt in Heartland and Heritage Hills, while West Valley always has the Best Christmas Lights."
Below you will find a description of the route and stops but community members should allow for a 5-minute time buffer on either side to account for traffic or other unforeseeable events.
- 1:40 Traffic Circle By Children’s Red Park (5 minute stop)
- 1:45- 1:50 Drive through Fireside - Down Fireside Way to Fireside School then down Fireside Parkway to Fireside Drive to Fireside Blvd to Exit
- 1:55- 2:00 Children’s Play Park South of Traffic Circle on Willow Park (3 minute stop)
- 2:00- 2:05 Then to Willow Street to Willow Park Traffic Circle on Willow Drive to Exit
RIVER HEIGHTS (Riversong Northside)
- 2:05- 2:10 River Heights Children’s Play Park on River Heights Blvd (5 minute stop)
- 2:10- 2:13 River Heights Blvd to River Heights Green back to River Heights Children's Park to Exit
- 2:15- 2:20 Traffic Circle by Riviera Children’s Play Park (5 minute stop)
- 2:20- 2:25 Down Riviera Way then down Riviera View to Riviera Crescent to Exit
RIDGE VIEW (Riversong Southside)
- 2:30- 2:35 Ridge Gate then around Ridge View Close then back out to Exit
- 2:40 Down George Fox Trail
- 2:45- 2:50 Toboggan Hill at Bow Ridge Road / George Fox Trail (5 minute stop)
- 2:50- 2:55 Bow Ridge Road to Bow Ridge Crescent (past Clarence Copthorne Park) back to Toboggan Hill to Exit
- 3:00- 3:05 Around the entire Bow Meadows Drive loop.
- 3:10- 3:20 Down Quigley Drive to Mitford/CCA School (3 minute stop) then down on West Terrace Road back to Quigley Drive to Exit.
- 3:20- 3:25 Glenpatrick Road (North to South) stopping at Glenbow School (3 minute stop) then out Glenpatrick Road to Fifth Ave
- 3:30- 3:40 Riverview Drive(North to South) around the entire Riverview Close then back down Riverview Drive.
- 3:40 Down 1st Street West starting at Shell Gas Station to Rockyview Hotel to Coffee Trader’s (10 minutes +/- Santa's Cookie and Coffee Break)
- 3:55- 4:00 Chiniki Drive around the Tri-Schools down Chinook Drive to Forth Ave to Exit
- 4:05- 4:13 Down Heartland Way (West to East) to Traffic Circle (5 minute stop)
- 4:13- 4:15 Heartland Blvd to Exit
- 4:20- 4:30 Heritage Gate to Heritage Drive stopping at Children’s Play Park (5 minute stop) to Heritage Blvd to Heritage View then back down Heritage Drive to Exit
- 4:35- 4:45 Sunset Drive (south to north) past St. Timothy’s School to Sunset Blvd to Children’s Play Park at Pond (5 minute stop)
- 4:45- 4:50 Sunset Road to RancheView School (3 minute stop)
- 4:50 Sundown Road to Sundown View to Children’s Park (3 minute stop) to Sundown View then back to Sunset Blvd to Exit
- 5:10- 5:15 Gleneagles Drive at the entrances of Glenvista Place and Glensummit Close (3 minute stop)
- 5:15 + Glen Eagles Drive back down to highway 1A underpass.
- 5:17 Mountain Street to Pope Avenue to Sibbald Street to Carolina Street with a stop at Dewey Blaney Park