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PHOTOS: 2022 Penticton Santa Claus Parade

On Dec. 7, 2019, the skies opened up and one of the heaviest bursts of rains in recent memory pounded Penticton just in time for that year's Santa Claus Parade.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> Scene from 2019 Santa Parade

To their mutual credit, Santa and Ms. Claus (who, after all these years, should finally be attributed with a first name, yes?) and the other participants, and most of the crowd too, remained stoic in the face of horrific weather and saw it through to the end when the rain stopped with smiles on their faces.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> A child waits for the 2022 parade to begin

Then in 2020 and 2021, with pandemic measures in full effect, there was no parade at all. Even a late push in 2020 to stage a drive-through parade of sorts -- dubbed Candy Cane Lane -- fell through.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

So Saturday afternoon, the day in which the Christmas-y event was scheduled to finally return to the streets of downtown Penticton post-pandemic, it had been four full years since the last dry-weather Santa parade.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

To say there was an air of expectation in the crowd as it gathered on Main Street isn't overstating things.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

And it all got going at its scheduled start time of 4:30.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

Leading the procession this time, as it did in 2019, was the distinctively-shaped RCMP Utility Terrain Vehicle introduced to Penticton a few years ago.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

We still have a soft spot for the lone (bag)piper of 2018, but the UTV is a decent substitute, all decked out in strings of Christmas lights and looking more festive than fearsome.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

More police cars followed and then the Penticton Fire Department with trucks and numerous good-natured firefighters masquerading as good-natured candy delivery people.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

Up next was the probable highlight of the afternoon -- a mega-size, mega-energetic squad from Okanagan Dance Studios that stopped at intersections along the way to pull off crowd-pumping dance routines.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

Over the next 15 minutes we saw a variety of welcome parade regulars like the Penticton Army Cadet Corp and its glorious ode to Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel doghouse, the City of Penticton's "Sweet Ride" float, and a stack of snowy tires from FountainTire.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

Other highlights would include a lovely snowman-centric float from the Chamber of Commerce, the lively dancers/fitness buffs of the oranj fitness float, and the numerous city councilors who doled out even more candy.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

Soon enough it was down to the final entries -- a variety of subtly decorated City and City Works vehicles and finally, Santa's impressively splashy sleigh and Santa himself.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

And that was it. PentictonNow had set itself up at a single intersection -- Main and Nanaimo -- and watched the entire parade go by in less than 22 minutes.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

That’s half the length of 2019, when there were more floats, more performance groups, more service groups, more local businesses, more costumes, more musicians, and more of just about everything else. And a few horses too.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

Are we allocating blame? Certainly not. It's been a tough couple years. Money's tight. Health concerns remain.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

And certainly in the past couple of weeks we've seen the City put out the call for more floats, trying to bolster the parade lineup.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

Was it fun? Yep. Parades are chances for communities, especially smallish communities, to come together innocently -- something we likely need more of as the world evolves.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

And as you can see by our pics, there were a lot of very happy people on Main Street late Saturday afternoon watching the parade go by.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade

We just wish there was more of it.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> 2022 Santa Parade




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