Holiday Parade of lights attended by thousands

Red Nose Run kicked off the annual parade

The QEII Foundation sold glowing, red noses during Saturday night’s parade.   Fadila Chater

People come for the music, floats and Santa Claus, but an unlikely attraction at Halifax’s annual Holiday Parade of Lights are the festive crowds.

And they were teeming with holiday excitement in downtown Halifax for the 22nd annual parade, sponsored by The Chronicle Herald. 

People stand on Barrington Street waiting for the parade to begin.   Fadila Chater

Saturday night’s festivities began at 2:30 p.m. with a visit from Santa Claus at Scotia Square.

Nick and Oliver volunteered to sell red noses as a fundraiser for the QEII Foundation.   Fadila Chater

Children, babies and dogs were decorated with Christmas lights, reindeer ears and Santa Claus hats. People wore red noses that the QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation sold for charity.

At Scotia Square on Barrington Street, families sat on the floor of the pedway overlooking the street.

People line up inside the pedway, waiting for the parade to begin on Upper Water Street.   Fadila Chater

Some people were there as early as 4 p.m. to get seats inside the pedway to watch the parade, which began at 6 p.m.

Kristen Brown and her two daughters, Miya and Makayla, sit on the floor of the Scotia Square pedway.   Fadila Chater

“We’ll be a lot warmer in here,” Kristen Brown said.

Jack Connolly, Matthew Roy, Michael Roy, Cayden McKay and Ty Fougere strike a pose in Scotia Square.   Fadila Chater

Others braved the wind and near-zero temperatures to find seats on the curb.

Four-year-old Liam Corkum waits for Santa Claus. His father said parade day is his favourite day of the year.   Fadila Chater


A group finds their seats on a curb on Barrington Street.   Fadila Chater


Darnell Clayton with his children and nephew (left).   Fadila Chater

At Grand Parade, people warmed up to music, dancing and trivia games.

Jack Connolly busts a move at Grand Parade during a dance-off hosted by the Halifax Hurricanes basketball team.   Fadila Chater


Tammy Ferguson (right) with her daughter Gracie Ferguson (left), aka Lil Swish the Halifax Hurricanes’ mascot,  and friends.   Fadila Chater

The parade began shortly after the town clock chimed at 6 p.m. By then, people formed two to three rows along the wide sidewalks on Barrington Street and Spring Garden Road.

A group bought hot beverages and kept warm with blankets and winter gloves.   Fadila Chater

Families shared blankets and sat on camping chairs, while some children were perched on their parents’ shoulders. Others shared dinner as they waited.

Jonathan Quinlan, Koen Vermeer and Michelle Bouchard enjoy a poutine on Grand Parade before the parade.   Fadila Chater


Poutine from Willy’s Fresh Cut Fries and Burgers.   Fadila Chater

And then the parade began.

A member of the Philae Shriners on a mini bike.   Fadila Chater


A girl watches the parade go by.   Fadila Chater

More than 65 floats travelled from Upper Water Street to Robie Street, a route that took more than two hours to complete.

One of the largest floats that went through downtown was the Boston Christmas tree; the 16-metre tree rode on the back of a yellow 18-wheeler truck. The tree will make its way to Boston, Mass. before being lit on Nov. 30.

Smokey Bear rides with the Boston Christmas tree during the parade.   Fadila Chater


A woman wearing a red nose waves at the Toy Drive float by local radio station C100 and Cineplex.   Fadila Chater

Along with the parade itself, the evening saw participants take part in the 3rd annual Red Nose Run, a before-parade fundraiser for the QEII Foundation.

During the parade, local radio station C100 and Cineplex collected toys from people on sidewalks. People also placed money donations into five gallon water bottles collected by Feed Nova Scotia volunteers.

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