True to his word, Santa Claus showed up for the Port Stanley Friday night Dickens
Day Parade on November 24, 2017. The streets were lined with parents and excited
children, and this year someone's Christmas wish got answered early as the rain
was postponed to sometime overnight.
The older children know what this is all about and they were ready for the candy
being given out and eager to catch a glimpse of Santa. The under fives are usually
frightened by the loud sirens of the fire trucks that lead the parade and cry until
they have passed.
Hosted each year by the Port Stanley Lioness and Lions clubs, the parade draws people
from all around the region including Fingal, Shedden, Dutton, St. Thomas, Aylmer,
London, and all places in between. This holiday season celebration brings out the
best of community spirit, all joining to spread some joy across the faces of all
that come to watch.
The Port Stanley Sailors Junior hockey team float was collecting canned goods for
the Port Stanley Foodbank while team members were busy giving out candy to the kids.
Always fun was the Optimist Club of Fingal - Shedden and District, Santa's Workshop
float, but no matter how hard I try, I never see any elves inside busy at work making
toys. The 741 Elgin, Royal Canadian Air Cadets were in close order formation marching,
always a grand addition to the Dickens Day Parade.
From the marching Port Stanley Waves Synchronized skating team, to the Love Bugs,
and to some seasonal tunes from the Mocha Shriners Trumpet Band, some fun for everyone.
On a colourful float, the Tomato Soup Band from London, Ontario provided some great,
lively Christmas music as they passed by a joyful festive crowd. Santa, of course,
brought up the rear, being the star attraction for which everyone had been waiting,
and then it was all over for another year.
Judges for this years parade, Linda Hibbert and Richard Haddow picked the Verbruggen
float as the best Winter Scene, the Jims Lawn Care as best youth float, the Port Stanley
Community Policing as Judges Choice, and Honourable Mention went to Central Elgin's
And as is tradition in Port Stanley, the Port Stanley Community Christmas Bazaar
is always held the next morning, being a great place to get in some early Christmas
shopping over at the arena.