This will be the 40th year of the Sarnia Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade this year, and the second that spectators will be those on the move.

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This will be the 40th year of the Sarnia Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade this year, and the second that spectators will be those on the move.

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The service club that turned to a drive-thru parade in the parking lot at Lambton College last year is hosting the same style of event this year, Nov. 27.

The continued leave from downtown Christina Street where thousands of spectators have historically lined the sidewalks to view the parade is for security reasons amid COVID-19, the club’s Bob Marks said.

“We cannot guarantee that everyone is vaccinated correctly on the street, so this is essentially a safety feature,” he said.

A dozen fixed tanks were part of last year, and around 3,500 vehicles have passed by to watch the show, he said.

“So four or five people in a car, just multiply that,” he said.

An invitation for floats to register for the 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. parade was issued this week, and some have already registered, he said.

“Certainly the quality of the floats last year was excellent,” he said. “If we could get a little more that would be great. “

Hopes are in the 20s, he said.

Up to about 40 floats could possibly fit in the parking space, he said.

“We’ve never had this (a lot) before.”

Marching bands will continue to stay away amid COVID-19 restrictions, but it is hoped that local musicians can perform during the event, he said.

The parade, which normally takes place the first weekend in December, takes place a week earlier this year, so it doesn’t conflict with a hockey tournament at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena, Marks said.

An additional hour at the parade was added based on turnout from last year, when the parade ran from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., he said.

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“We thought that an extra half hour at each end would help more people see the tanks.”

Canada Post officials will once again be on hand to collect letters to Santa Claus, and the service club will collect donations for local food banks, he said, noting that last year they raised more than 4,100 pounds of food and $ 10,000.

Organizing the parade will cost between $ 5,000 and $ 6,000 this year, he said, noting that last year’s costs were covered by community fundraising.

“Whatever we are missing, we know the club can find it,” he said.

There are plans to have signs guiding traffic so people turn right rather than left when leaving the parking lot, he said.

“So that might help with the passing time element.”

The forms will soon be published on sarniakinsmen.ca for those interested in making an entry, he said. People can also contact Tourism Sarnia-Lambton at 519-336-3232.

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