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.
Saturday night’s festivities began at 2:30 p.m. with a visit from Santa Claus at Scotia Square.
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.
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.
“We’ll be a lot warmer in here,” Kristen Brown said.
Others braved the wind and near-zero temperatures to find seats on the curb.
At Grand Parade, people warmed up to music, dancing and trivia games.
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.
Families shared blankets and sat on camping chairs, while some children were perched on their parents’ shoulders. Others shared dinner as they waited.
And then the parade began.
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.
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.