It was a bitterly cold night for a parade, but such was the sacrifice made on the rare occasions when Santa Claus is in town.
Friday night was the annual Downtown Summerside Santa Claus Parade and plenty of folks braved the blustery and bitterly cold early winter weather to see the big guy himself.
Parents clutched coffee cups a little tighter, blankets were everywhere and some of the smallest kids where so bundled-up that only a pair of wide eyes could be discerned from between layers.
Families like the MacDonalds, of Summerside, remained undaunted by the weather.
“It’s a family tradition, every year,” said Malcolm MacDonald, who was with his wife Marsha, daughter Sorraya and son Peter
“We just bundled up extra tight tonight. Lots of layers.”
“It gets the kids excited for Santa to come,” added Marsha.
Aaron and Stephanie Hogan drove from Tignish to take in the parade with their two young children. It was the first year they’ve done so.
“They’re old enough now, we thought they would enjoy it. She’s almost 4 and she’s super excited,” said Stephanie.
The parade got started around 6:30 p.m. and traveled along Water Street before turning off to end at Credit Union Place.
There were floats of every description, with lots of candy and treats being liberally distributed.
Downtown Summerside usually declares three overall winners in terms of entrants in the parade. This year’s winners were: 1. Centre Belle Alliance, 2. Standard Aero and 3. Green Diamond.
When Santa finally made his appearance, he was carried by fire truck from Miscouche.
The jolly old elf stopped on Water Street to got down to greet his rosy-cheeked admirers for a few minutes before hurrying on his way to Credit Union Place.