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Holiday Parade of lights attended by thousands

Red Nose Run kicked off the annual parade

5 min read
caption The QEII Foundation sold glowing, red noses during Saturday night’s parade.

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. 

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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


caption A group finds their seats on a curb on Barrington Street.


caption Darnell Clayton with his children and nephew (left).

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

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


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

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.

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

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

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


caption Poutine from Willy’s Fresh Cut Fries and Burgers.

And then the parade began.

caption A member of the Philae Shriners on a mini bike.


caption A girl watches the parade go by.

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.

caption Smokey Bear rides with the Boston Christmas tree during the parade.


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

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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