Port Colborne welcomes the Jolly Old Elf

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It was an amazing day, Port Colborne rolled out the ‘Welcome’ mat Saturday Dec. 2/2017 as Santa Claus came for his annual visit, checking up on all the local children and collecting their Christmas wishes.

“I love coming to Port Colborne,” Santa said. “The city has such nice children.”

“We could’ve used some snow, though,” he said.

His day started off at the Lions Hall for the 16th Annual Breakfast with Santa presented by the Port Colborne Lioness.

“I really love to start the day with a good hearty breakfast,” Santa said. “My Lioness friends did an amazing job of hosting me and my young friends this morning.”

Santa Claus arrives by tugboat Saturday afternoon.

Later in the afternoon, Santa arrived by tugboat in Downtown Port Colborne to visit with his friends. The afternoon event was hosted by the Port Colborne Downtown BIA.

After the arrival by tugboat, singing Christmas Carols as they walked, Santa led a procession to the Guild Hall where he visited with his fans and shared some hot chocolate and cookies with his friends.

“The event went very well,” Betty Konc, chair of the Port Colborne Downtown BIA said. “We had so many children come out and see him. He managed to visit with each and every one.”

“We did something a little different this year with the line-up this year, so we didn’t have the chaos we’ve had in the past, the pictures were much quicker too,” she said.

The event has been going on in Port Colborne for quite some time, Konc could only recall that the BIA took it over ten years ago and she knows it’s been happening longer than that.

As night fell in Port Colborne families started to line the parade route early, making sure they got a good spot to see Santa as he went by.

This year’s parade featured 45 local floats from the businesses and organizations in Port Colborne.

Members of the Port Colborne Fire and Emergency Department collected unwrapped toys and non-perishable food donations for Port Cares and letter carriers from Canada Post picked up children’s letters to Santa.

Parade entries are being judged this year, parade goers are urged to vote for their favourite float for the “People’s Choice” category through: http://portcolborne.ca/page/Christmas_in_Port_Colborne. People who cast a vote will have their names added to a draw to win a prize (from Shoppers Drug Mart). Voting closes Monday Dec. 4/2017 at 3 p.m.

Santa Claus and friends make their way to the Guild Hall Saturday afternoon.

“Our lighted parade is unique in the region and entrants have to be a little more creative when designing their floats. We began judging parade entries last year as a way to recognize participants for their hard work and involvement with our parade,” commented Gina Murdoch, Event Coordinator.

“We are very excited to have Santa visit our city this weekend,” Port Colborne Mayor John Maloney said after the parade. “We appreciate that he finds time every year to break away from his busy schedule at the North Pole and come and visit with us.”

While the weather cooperated and it was a wonderful day for Santa’s visit, he did mention something that was missing.

“I just wish we had a little snow,” he said. “A little bit of snow just makes everything so pretty this time of year.”

As far as Christmas Eve goes, Santa noted that “Mrs. Claus has asked me to lay off the chocolate milk this year and the eggnog too, I’m afraid.”

“However, please don’t forget to put out some cookies,” he said.

Santa said that he likes all cookies, it doesn’t matter which. “But, I really like macaroons,” he said.

“I also want to tell all the children of Port Colborne something important,” he said. “I always want you to listen whether at home or at school and make sure you go to bed early on Christmas Eve.”

Santa will be visiting the Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum Sunday for photos at The 41st Annual Grand Old Christmas Festival, https://eriemedia.ca/events/41st-annual-grand-old-christmas-festival/.

Next Saturday Dec. 9/2017 he will be in Pelham, then he will be back at the North Pole getting ready for Christmas.



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