Town to hold Santa Claus Parade as Kin Club backs away due to lack of resources

August 25, 2022   ·   2 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Concerns that the local Santa Claus Parade won’t happen this winter have been put to rest.

After receiving a letter from the Kin Club of Orangeville that said they don’t have the resources to run the annual Santa Claus Parade this year, Mayor Sandy Brown put forward a motion at council’s Aug. 8 meeting to have the town host it instead.

The motion passed 7-0, directing community services staff to begin organizing the parade and allocate $15,000 from the Parks and Recreation Reserve to cover the cost.

The primary expense is hiring 20 to 30 crossing guards to facilitate the control of traffic.

Mayor Brown said the Santa Claus Parade is an “iconic event” in Orangeville and its incumbent upon council to make sure it continues to happen.

The Kin Club, like many other service clubs in Canada and around the world, has seen a decline in membership, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The club will still assist with putting on the Santa Claus Parade, providing the centre float, arrangements for Kris Kringle, and helping with the judge’s booth.

Coun. Todd Taylor said he’s supportive of the initiative to fund the Santa Claus Parade this year and thanked Mayor Brown for bringing it forward. However, he did note that the reduction in volunteers over the last few years is concerning and it’s something that residents should think about.

Coun. Taylor said the Optimist Club, which he is a member of, has seen a decrease in membership and the Orangeville Rotary Club struggled to secure enough volunteers for Ribfest this year.

“I think longer term, it’s something for us all as citizens to think about,” he remarked. “And if there was a message here tonight, it’s get involved in your town because these events are precarious at best. We know them and love them and want to participate in them but they rely on people to volunteer to bring them forward.”

Looking past 2022, Coun. Taylor said it is likely the Kin Club will still be unable to host the Santa Claus Parade themselves, and the town will have to look at what role it will play with the event long term.

“It sounds like if we do this, it’s going to be a town event. There won’t be any going back,” Coun. Taylor said. “I support the initiative, I just think from long term planning, we all need to kind of hold hands and agree that this is probably where we’re going, and what’s going to happen as we go forward.”

Coun. Joe Andrews said with the challenges faced by service clubs in retaining members, there could be an opportunity to have secondary school students who require community volunteer hours to get involved.

“That’s where you get some of the new volunteers to hopefully cultivate volunteerism from a lifelong commitment,” he noted. “Maybe we can work in collaboration with the two area secondary schools to hopefully garner some interest in supporting this. It might be just another way of helping a very important event in our community.”

Historically, the Orangeville Santa Claus parade has been held in November.

Council’s next meeting is Sept. 12.

Readers Comments (2)

  1. Andrea says:

    Do the volunteers have to be jabbed? Oh and does one need to be jabbed to attend?

    • Orangeville Citizen says:

      Hi Andrea. You do not have to be jabbed to attend but to volunteer with the town you currently require a COVID vaccination. It would be best to check with the town and Kin Club to get all the details.


Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.